What is a mastermind?
A powerful way of reconnecting with our purpose, and deeply connecting with others
A mastermind is a group of 3 to 7 people who get together to help each other solve their challenges, guided by a format and set of questions.
It's happened personally to me several times that I was so energized after a Mastermind meeting that I could not sleep! A good problem to have.
I have seen problems that someone carried for weeks, get solved in a few minutes.
As Masterminds a usually held every 1-2 weeks, it’s also brought me a sense of community and inner strength that I didn’t have before, even with many friends in my life. Our peer masterminders can quickly become meaningful others we can count on.
Masterminds are a powerful way to move elegantly through the challenges of our daily life, and to reconnect to our sense of purpose, while connecting with each other.
Mastermind are easy to set up and are scalable. I believe masterminds is something our world needs more than ever - for we need more togetherness to evolve our consciousness.
The central questions of a Mastermind are:
- What is taking you offtrack from your purpose?
- What is holding you back?
- What is taking space in your mind & heart these days?
How does it work?
As a group of 3 to 7 people, we will each have a fixed time of typically 15 min, during which we share a current challenge with the group, and receive their inputs.
Our challenges can be about anything - personal, professional, relationships, health, habits, etc. The more transparent we are in sharing our challenges, the more we get out of a mastermind.
Here are some examples of what people share:
- I am been wanting to start my own online course for months now. But it's not happening.
- I know I need to have a talk with him, but I am still not doing it.
- I feel I am not on-purpose these days. I keep getting distracted and procrastinating.
- I have this important meeting in 3 days and I have not been feeling good about it.
- I am worried about ___. I would like to hear your thoughts on that
- I feel held back by ___. What would you suggest about that?
- I have been experiencing difficulties with my relationship / my work /...
Sharing our input
After mindfully listening to person in the hot seat, it's the turn of the rest of the group to share. It can be in the form of insights, deepening questions, empathy, experiences, knowledge, an offer to connect to someone, pointing to resources and anything that serves the other.
How to run a Mastermind session
Invite for a person to share. "Who has a clear challenge, or who feels called to share first?"
The hot seat person describes their challenge/situation in, typically, 1 to 5 min .
The rest of the group listens with their full attention. Just pure non-reactive listening.
After the hot seat has described sufficient details, the rest of the group will interact by asking specific questions, by sharing insights, experiences, etc.
Until the timer beeps. You then have 30 seconds to wrap up gently.
It's now the turn of the next person.
When everyone has had their turn, you can close the session "Thank you everyone for sharing"
By the end of the rounds there will possibly be plenty of inspiration and energy for more conversations! It's up to you, if you have time, to keep an open format and allow the free flow of interactions.
How to start your own Mastermind group
- Gather 2 to 10 people's names
with whom you feel you would best grow. You do not have to know them well, but simply be people whose opinions you value.
- Invite them to form a Mastermind
with a message or a call (see invitation message example)
- Form a Telegram/ WhatsApp group
with the people who say yes.
It's that easy.
Dear _____ ,
I am forming a Mastermind group and I am inviting you to be part of it.
I have personally been experiencing the power of getting together to help each other with our challenges. It’s truly energizing and liberating!
We will meet every week for 1~1.5hrs on Google Hangouts and follow the structured format of mastermind. More info here: productivityday.com/masterminds/
It does require commitment because this is what brings the best results for all of us.
You are someone whose opinion and views I value and I would love for you to be part of it.
If this resonates with you, we will find a day of the week that works for all of us. I would suggest initially Sunday at 6pm.
Corona is showing us that our world needs more togetherness. Mastermind groups are a wonderful and powerful way to do just that.
Looking forward !
Decide on the timing for each round
between 5 to 30 min per person, based on your group size and time available. Example:
- If you have 1h15 of time and you are 7 people, that's 10min per person.
- If you have 1h30 and 4 people, it would be 22min each.
Oftentimes the conversations go over time - so add 30 seconds of margin to close the round once the timer has elapsed.
After the mastermind rounds, the group can close or keep going in an open format, even with food and drinks!
It's good to take a minute of mindfulness at the start, where we are invited to reflect on what challenges are taking the most space in our mind and heart these days.
If someone does not see a challenge in their life, they can simply describe how their life is going these days. Almost certainly the group will come up with clarifying questions, reflections and well intention challenges which will bring the person to further reflect.
Compared to 1-on-1, or relying on ourself, small clusters of people have an unusual power to make us grow and evolve.
For myself growing in an individualistic culture, and relying often on just myself to go through life, cultivating intentional clusters has been a revelation.
People use the power of group under different names and intentions: success groups, support groups, grief circles, sharing circles, healing circles and more.
A few brains that are external to a challenge / emotional situation will solve it better than a single brain that is in the middle of it!
Masterminds are a place to grow. It's a safe space where all feelings are okay. It's even encouraged to show our vulnerabilities.
Mastermind bring depth, to what would otherwise be another casual get together. They are a transforming way of connecting to each other.
Each of us get to give and receive.
It's energizing, fun and can go deep! Just show up with an open heart. No experience is necessary.
A mastermind is a mindful practice of tuning into our self to find what would best help the other.
Be concise. It's okay to use masterminds to practice the art of getting to the point. Stay mindful to leave time for others to give their input too. Hold back from speaking if you do not have something valuable to say. It's okay to ask the group at anytime to re-center a discussion which has drifted away from what best serves the central person.
Be the change
We are in the middle of some serious mental health pandemics.
Loneliness pandemic: above 50% of adult feel lonely. Having friends & family and even a romantic partner is not always enough. It's not the number of our connections, it is the depth of our connections that matter.
Purposelessness pandemic: 75% of people are languishing, not having a guiding purpose in life.
Relating & life model: We've been inheriting old patterns of relating and models for living life that don't quite work.
Our world needs more connectedness and purposefulness.
Scaling the movement
Masterminds are scalable. I believe that this simple way of connecting, if it spreads, could have a positive impact on our world. I dream of a world where everyone has a peer-to-peer support structure.
Masterminds are free and frictionless to set up! Even more so with online video conferencing.
Anyone can start one and develop conscious leadership skills in the process.
Be the change you want to see in the world and start your own!
Your friends will probably be grateful to you for bringing everyone together to talk about the meaningful stuff in life!