Wednesday, May 04, 2016

What I Want in a Mastermind Group

Yesterday, I wrote that I had a great mastermind group in Las Cruces. The next question is, if I wanted to make another great mastermind group, what would I want in it? Of course, my answers are highly influenced by how good the last one was!

The first point is that showing up is important. Of course we couldn't always make it. But if we knew we'd be away in advance, we let each other know, and if something came up, we tried to call. Overall, while we might have two or three people meeting instead of four, we missed only one or two weeks a year. So I would want mastermind members who would regularly come to meetings.

The weekly schedule felt just right. It was often enough to keep us on track, and not such a large part of my calendar that it became too much. I would like weekly meetings.

Four members also felt good. Occasionally, one of us would bring a friend, and five felt fine, too. I've found groups of six good for some dinners and gaming. So four to six members sounds right. I like the closeness of a small group, and I also like having enough members so that weeks when there was no one to meet with were rare.

Supportiveness is essential! We appreciated each other, and thought well of each other. The mood of the group was never harsh or judgmental. While we did offer each other suggestions, that was secondary to simply witnessing for each other. And the attitude was always "I see something that might help you" rather than "you are wrong and I will fix you." Any suggestions came in the epitome of kind and constructive criticism.

The structure of bringing a list of intentions for the following week, and reporting on how we did on the previous week worked well. It was both flexible and accountable enough.

A weekday afternoon meeting time was great. We typically met just after work at a coffee house. I don't yet know what would be a good location in Midland! Monday was a good day to meet. It set up the week nicely. These are both flexible. When scheduling was particularly tight, we sometimes met for breakfast, and we moved the day as needed, staying on the same schedule for at least a quarter. Meetings typically lasted one hour and fifteen minutes. Since I work freelance and have a flexible schedule, I generally adapted to the needs of the other members. However, a start time later than 6 pm wouldn't work well for me. I like to be home in the evenings.

A certain compatibility is important. We were all women, all mature, all interested in art and learning and healing, all pursuing our work in the world, all of good intention. I do not know if gender or age will be important for another great mastermind. I am certain that if the fit isn't good, it won't be as supportive and appealing, which will make it less likely to thrive. We added members one by one and very carefully to the last group. I want the same trust and harmony in my next group. It might also work to try members quickly, and then keep the ones who fit.

So what I want is a long-term group of allies, whom I enjoy spending time with, to meet on a weekly basis. Now I'm intrigued to see if I can gather such a group in Midland!

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