Mastermind groups are a great way to connect and develop lasting friendships and opportunities that allow you to live the life you want, with the people you want in it. They come in all shapes and sizes, but not all are created equal and it’s important to choose carefully. The one important guideline for any mastermind you belong to is the connection you feel to the individuals in the group, and the levels of respect and trust that develops over time. Finding common ground is essential. No point in signing up with for a group with people whom you can’t relate to and have nothing in common. Determine the common denominator of the group. Are they entrepreneurs, senior executives, techies, lawyers, or a combination of all these. Knowing the issues and focus of the group is probably more important than what job or profession they are in. Interview: A good facilitator of any Mastermind will conduct an in depth interview to determine if the fit is right for both of you. You need to make sure your objectives for joining are in line with the groups. Is the group founded primarily on business priorities, or is it a combination of both business and personal? Which is more important to you? In my experience, it's frequently a combination of both. They are in fact, inseparable, and it takes a good coach/facilitator to guide people through the tricky stuff. You also want to know the background of the group facilitator and their experience in Masterminds, and be sure to ask for references from past or present participants. Attitude, attitude, attitude: In most groups, it's a give first, get later philosophy. It’s an attitude of gratitude for the people who share their most intimate details with you, and who trust you to hold these things sacred within the group. Masterminds are not about WIIFM, but is more about what can I do for you? Give to get is the primary driver. And having commitment to the process as it unfolds is important to building trust, and creating strong bonds between individuals. Know Thyself: Most of all, when you are in a new MM group, it's about being YOU. Knowing who you are, what matters to you, what your values are, and what you want in your life. Being genuine and authentic is a process of becoming real with those in the room. For many, that's not easy, but it's a concept that is very important part in your MM group, and in your ability to influence at large.
I've facilitated several Masterminds, and the one common denominator is that I liked the people I invited onboard and I took great care in grouping the individuals to insure they would be able to maximize their experience. Choose a mastermind with a facilitator and members who lift you up, who will root for you to win, who inspire you, and who will hold you to a higher standard than you do for yourself, and believe in your ability to make the impossible, possible. These are the people you want to surround yourself with.
Here’re a few tips for choosing the right group and making the most of your Mastermind experience: