by Dana Detrick-Clark
A mastermind group can be a great tool for personal and professional growth. By creating a circle of influence for yourself with inspirational, intelligent peers and mentors, you are held to higher accountability, given deeper opportunities for learning, and encouraged to be a better business person than you could be on your own.
But not every mastermind group is created equally. My own experiences have presented a mixed bag of great moments of clarity and rejuvenation, to outright resistance and frustration.
The truth is that a great mastermind group doesn’t just happen; it is deliberately built by the members that want to get the most out of it.
Leave it to chance, and you risk wasting everyone’s time and resources.
Here are five ways you can ensure your mastermind group is a kick ass machine that enriches your business and your life:
1. Have the right attitude.
Are you open to constructive criticism? Can you deal with conflicting views or suggestions?
If you just want a group of “yes” men (or women) around you, it’s easy enough to build a team who either don’t have the experience you do (so they won’t argue what they don’t know), don’t have the confidence that you do (so they won’t speak up, even if they do disagree), or don’t care!
But a quality mastermind group will be filled with confident, insightful people, many of whom will have more (or at least differing) experience than you do, and can give you valuable input that will make you see things from another perspective.
If you aren’t ready to receive that, then masterminding may not be for you.
2. Have clarity about what you want from this mastermind group.
Are you seeking support because you’re a solopreneur who doesn’t network in any other way? Do you need accountability to stay on a course of action, or are you seeking specialized knowledge that you know your group contains?
Knowing what you’re really after in a group will help you build it (or join one) with the right set of peers.
Get stuck in a group with the wrong set of peers, and you’ll experience guilt, annoyance, and an overriding obligation to try to “make it work” without any real hope that it will. And you’re not just wasting their time, but you’re filling a seat where someone who is a fit could be sitting.
You owe it to yourself and the group to get this one right.
3. Give as much as you get.
It may seem intimidating, especially if the members of your group are powerhouse talents. But your point of view is valuable, or you wouldn’t be there! Be ready to speak up, strongly, if you see a member needs guidance, if you feel in your gut that there’s another side to whatever issue they are dealing with that they’re not considering, or if you feel the group is going off track.
It’s not that you have to be a mean person. But more often than not, I’ve had good groups go bad, or, at least never reach their potential, because no one wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings, or step on anyone’s toes.
Many times people will just go with the flow because it is comfortable. But then, what purpose is the group serving?
There is a time and place for validating members; that is often part of a good support structure. But if you find yourself hiding behind it, not willing to give someone else true accountability or access to your own specialized knowledge, then you are lowering the integrity of the group.
Give of yourself. It is the best form of gratitude for what the other members are giving to you.
4. Commit your mastermind mission to paper.
This is where the entire group gains clarity of vision, and gains the structure by which they’ll keep everyone on task.
That doesn’t mean it has to be rigid or cold. I personally love a mission statement that is friendly and fun (which is the one thing all of my groups, even the less effective ones, had in common).
It should also be fluid. An update every six months to a year as membership changes, or business conditions change can be a great thing, allowing the group to re-center or start fresh, if goals or milestones have been met.
5. Do the work!
Members will stop taking you seriously if you waste their time and advice by nodding along with their input during the meeting, then not putting any of it into motion. It makes it seem like you’re either just agreeing with their ideas out of laziness, or not taking action out of laziness!
Truly this is the biggest value of the mastermind group: when you can see the collective know-how make a definite difference in your own organization. That is when you know you’re with the right group of people that resonate with your personal and professional goals, that will hold you to task, and that will fire you up.
You have the power to create that, and shouldn’t settle for less!
Latest posts by Dana Detrick-Clark (see all)
- How to Create a Quarterly Plan That Completely Changes 2016 - April 6, 2016
- How To Barter Smarter [free download] - February 9, 2016
- How to Craft 3 Valentine’s Day Specials That Will Make You Irresistible to Your Clients [podcast + free download] - February 1, 2016