Mastermind groups take many shapes and forms. Some meet on Facebook whenever they’re online, others have an hour conference call once a week, still others are a tight group who can email each other about anything any time but might not take advantage of that very often. But regardless if it is a laid back group of friends or a serious group of professionals, a true mastermind group is always characterized by certain traits.
Whether you’re looking for a mastermind group or evaluating if the group you’re in is right for you, here are six hallmarks that are always shared by a healthy meeting of masterminds.
A mastermind group is formed by their very commitment to each other. But it takes more than just commitment to become a mastermind group–it takes investing in each other. Investing time and energy into the group is the purest display of commitment to your mastermind group.
A committed community contributes faithfully rather than appearing only when they need something from you. Constant and willing contribution allows for an equal give and take. Serious investment by all parties provides for the most mutual benefit for every member of the mastermind group.
A mastermind group is the place to go deep, not wide: it’s the place to zero in on areas of needed growth. To keep your mastermind group on track, you need to focus on specific pre-determined subjects rather than discussing every area that comes to mind.
Choose one topic to focus your discussion on each month. Set a goal for growth in a specific area and work to help each other achieve it. Whether you share similarities of niche or a desire to learn more about a certain topic, you’ll have to keep the main thing the main thing in order to reach what you joined together to achieve.
A mastermind group must be a safe place to discuss plans long before they go public. It’s a place to bounce ideas off of each other and get honest feedback from trusted sources. It’s that “inner circle” you turn to first with your successes and your failures.
But what happens in a mastermind group stays in the mastermind group. Nothing that’s discussed in the mastermind group should be taken out of that context. No idea belonging to a member of the mastermind group should be discussed anywhere by anyone unless it has already been made public by that member. If you can truly trust the members of your mastermind group, you can accomplish great things through their honest feedback.
A true meeting of masterminds searches out truth rather than pooling ignorance. Members of a mastermind group must be committed to telling the truth to each other, even when it hurts. Whether it’s a writing critique or a new brainstorm, false praise never helped anyone improve their work.
When issues are brought to the table, members must feel free to discuss them in an open and honest fashion. When tough questions are asked, members must in all fairness be able to both give and receive real answers. Asking for honest feedback from your most trusted associates is one of the best ways to pursue growth.
A great mastermind group will generate steady growth, in the group as a whole and in each member individually. You should be invigorated rather than drained by your interaction with the group. You should look forward to your meetings, savor your messages, and consider your replies.
Growth isn’t always easy, and sometimes the truth hurts. But learning and growing together with your mastermind group should be something that encourages and empowers you even while it stretches and strengthens you.
A healthy mastermind group must re-evaluate their commitment and progress at regular intervals. Without frequent analysis of methods, the group may grow stagnant. Without allowing an opportunity for members to bow out, the group may grow cold. Without an annual checkup, the group may dissolve for lack of health.
If your mastermind group has a designated leader, it is up to them to schedule regular evaluations. Whether those take the form of a newsletter or a social media discussion thread, the leader needs to share their own perception of the group’s health and then ask for input from the rest of the group. Share where you see your group growing, share where you think you’ve gotten off track. Share your own goals for the group, and ask the group what they need from each other.
Not every mastermind group will be the perfect fit for you, nor will your tenure with a group last indefinitely. But if you can find a mastermind group that embodies these six characteristics, you have found a healthy mastermind group where your growth will know no bounds.