Here are some basic guidelines and suggestions around running an effective Mastermind Group
- Meet Regularly & Precisely. Keep to a regularly scheduled time, ensure all members are punctual – and end on time. I typically meet for 90 minutes once a fortnight. You may require more or less time, but ensure that you have adequate time because you want to…
- Give each member equal time. It is important that all participants get value out of the group, so try and ensure that everyone gets equal time – both in sharing their issues and offering advice. It is easy to get carried away and lose track of time, so consider using a timer.
- Don’t Interrupt. One person at a time, and keep in mind the purpose of the meeting is to give everyone a chance – it’s not always about you. Hold comments and suggestions until the person speaking has a chance to finish.
- Decide if you need an agenda. Usually, a rough agenda or outline is useful, but most groups I participate in are fairly informal. You may like to pre-set a “conversation topic” or even have a guest speaker. Some groups (particularly facilitated groups, or those with larger memberships) are fairly structured with more explicit items on the agenda for accountability and progress reports – try it out and decide what works best for you.
- Decide on whether to have a facilitator. It is a good idea to have someone “in control” – whether this is a formal facilitator or whether this is a role that changes for each get-together. Informal groups tend to be self-policing, but some groups may need a facilitator who is more active – keeping people on target for time, and moving you from one item on the agenda to the next.
- Record Keeping. Make sure you record what happens at each meeting – lessons learned, goals achieved, and particularly items you want to keep each other accountable to. This doesn’t have to be complicated and may simply involve a shared Google Document … or a simple SMS.