You are convinced that a Mastermind Group is going to help you achieve more focus and get clarity on you mission in life. You know that the group will help you installing the accountability to stop messing around and take massive action on making your dreams come true.

So now what? How do you start such a group? Here are the 5 most common pitfalls for starting a mastermind group.

1.  Lacking a common goal

The most important part of having your first meeting is to set the course. You need to make sure that all members agree on the purpose of this tribe. This means that you need to sit down and share:

  • Why you want to be part of this tribe
  • What you are going to bring to the table
  • What you are coming to get out of the tribe

This sounds simple. It’s not always the case. Everyone will have a different idea. You need to have an open hearted conversation where you are all being fully honest to share your dreams and challenges. Then you decide if there is a match. Without a common goal in the group it is doomed to fail.

2.  Facilitator is not trained

It’s a challenge to guide a Mastermind Group. Ideally the role of facilitator rotates. This means that every meeting someone else will guide the process. For that there needs to be at least one member who understands the group process. Someone who is able to give every member the same amount of time and attention from the group. For this you will use a timer to keep track of time and use hand gestures to guide the communication process.

The training to learn this is quite extensive. For the purpose and length of this article, it is too much to go into it fully. Just be aware that it is important to have a facilitator who knows what to do when things get messy.

3.  Too much difference in experience between members

If there is too much difference in the experience level of the members, some will feel they are coaching others more than they get out of it. A Mastermind Group is not about coaching or teaching others. It is a peer-to-peer mentoring system to join forces with like-minded people who are at the same level of experience.

There are also mastermind groups with a mentor or coach. These are usually paid groups often with high entry fees. There are plenty benefits from a group like this, however this is not what we recommend to start with. Much better to start your own group to learn the concepts first hand.

Making sure that your fellow members are somewhat similar in experience will lead to higher changes of successful meetings from which everyone benefits.

4.  Lacking clear rules of engagement

It cannot be emphasized enough how important this element is. I’ve seen numerous groups break up because they didn’t agree upon some simple rules of engagement. When do we meet? How often will we meet? Where will we meet? How do we communicate outside of the meetings? How do we deal with flaky members (people who don’t show up)? How serious are we all about this group? Do we install penalties for failing to prepare for the meeting?

It is very important that everyone knows what is expected of them, and what will happen if they fail to comply. Depending on the purpose of your group, these agreements can be more rigid or more flexible. Not having any rules of engagement though, is going to guarantee success of failure.

5.  Not willing to open up and be vulnerable

How often are you fully heard by others? How often to people really make space to listen to you, without wanting to tell their own story? In day to day life we haven’t really learned this. Thus, opening up to a group fully about our thoughts, emotions, desires, dreams and blockages is not so easy. Yet, this is one of the most beautiful parts of being part of a mastermind group. You will be invited to share those things in a safe space. Each member will get a block of time each meeting. That time is fully theirs. You get to decide whether you just want to be heard and/or to make use of the combined thinking capacity of the group.

The breakthroughs that you can achieve in this process are unthinkable. Really. Beyond words. It’s so powerful to sit in a group of people who are full attentive to you. And for this, it is so important that you are honest. This may be difficult at first but soon you will relax into it. It will leave you fully energized after the meeting. This feeling can stay for days and sometimes even weeks. Very powerful.

If you are serious about growth, start or join a Mastermind Group today!

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