5 Ingredients of a Successful Mastermind

Facilitating a Mastermind group is easy if you set it up for success from the get go. Before you begin your Mastermind, design in, and then continuously monitor, these five ingredients for a harmonious group:

member commitment,
group energy,
connection, and

Solidify Member Commitment

Presence powers the Mastermind. Each time a member shows up fully to a session they help fuel the manifesting ability of the group by building a bond of trust. If there is not a strong commitment from each member to show up and participate in group discussions, the Master-mind will never fully develop, and the group may flounder.

As you enroll people into your mastermind, explain how their commitment is critical and how that benefits everyone in the group, including them. Provide the schedule of sessions in advance. Ask members to safe-guard those session times in their calendar.

If a person cannot participate in a majority of the dates, they are not a good candidate for the group.

Set Powerful Intentions

Both group and individual intentions help set the “container” for the group.

What does each person want from the Mastermind? Ask members to write down and share their intentions. Encourage everyone to “hold” each person’s intentions – as you would hold a coaching client’s potential.

Then, occasionally, check in about those goals. Accountability is key to the Mastermind. That includes witnessing and celebrating growth, as well as making course corrections.

Also set “operating agreements” or intentions for the group. Co-creation of the agreements helps with buy-in. Here are some agreements my Masterminds have designed:

I agree to:

  1. Attend every Mastermind call that I possibly can.
  2. Be 100% committed to my own success and that of my colleagues.
  3. Hold in confidence everything shared in the group.
  4. Hold space for the transformation of each individual in the Mastermind.
  5. Come ready to participate and ask for the support I need to take a leap forward.
  6. Not multi-task during the call.
  7. Actively listen and give only constructive feedback.
  8. Only offer suggestions based on positive results I’ve experienced in my own business.

Raise Group Energy

A certain amount of energy is necessary for a Mastermind. Energy comes from the number of attendees and the way they show up in session.

I prefer groups of 6 – 10 people. Smaller groups are at a disadvantage if someone misses a session. Larger groups are more difficult to serve in a reasonable time frame.

If participation is low, the energy in the group may feel sluggish. As the facilitator, you can improve this by slightly raising your own energy. Or walk the group through a grounding/breathing exercise and ask them to help you raise the energy that way.

Provide Avenues of Connection

It’s important to create other ways for group members to connect outside sessions. Make it easy for them. A social networking group exclusive to members is a great way to facilitate more interaction. Members can post profiles, photos, questions, discussion groups, documents and resources there.

In one of my Masterminds we have a secret Facebook group that allows conversations to continue and friendships to grow. Valuable feedback and resources are posted there as well. In a VIP think tank for established coaches, we have a dedicated Ning social networking site that enhances connections between sessions. Without it, the bonds wouldn’t be as strong and participants would not accomplish as much.

The more your group members get connected, the more they will want to be together, bringing energy to the group.

Spice it up with Variety

A bit of structure is important for people to feel safe and ready to participate. But as the group matures, it’s equally important for sessions to feel fresh and inspiring. Shake things up now and then by reading a short quote or poem relevant to the group, varying the format of the group, asking pithy questions, telling stories, sharing humor, discussing a book, or having a member of the group other than you lead the discussion.

In one of my recent Masterminds we looked at Barbara Stanny’s Overcoming Underearning Quiz online and discussed money mindsets. Another time we reviewed the websites of participants. Often a group theme will emerge from individual check-ins and become a catalyst for juicy dialog.

You already have some great ideas, and remember, you can morph your Mastermind as needed. Now it’s time to get your Mastermind launched and have some fun. What else do you need to know to get your group rolling? Ask your questions here.