With clear rules of engagement, you set yourself up for mastermind meetings that lift all members up equally. This article gives suggestions, tips, and tricks to create an effective set of mastermind group rules.

Mastermind groups can either change your life or suck the life out of you. The difference is as clear as night and day. A mastermind meeting can give you a tremendous boost in energy, or it can leave you drained for the rest of the day.

Why You Need Mastermind Group Rules

Research at Google answers what makes groups (teams) successful.

They found that how the members interacted with each other was significantly more important than who was on the team (personality traits, knowledge level, IQ and creativity levels, having similar hobbies, socializing outside of the group, or even age and gender).

These key elements are (Google, 2015):

  • Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?
    “High performance requires the openness, flexibility, and interdependence that can develop only in a psychologically safe environment. Psychological safety makes it possible to give tough feedback and have difficult conversations – which demands trust and respect – without the need to tiptoe around the truth.”
  • Dependability: Do you do what you say you will do? And do we take responsibility to communicate honestly about it?
  • Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans of each team member clear?
  • Meaning of work: Is each member working on something personally important to them?
  • Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we are doing matters?

From this we conclude: you don’t have to like other members, but you need to be clear how you interact with each other. Mastermind Group rules will do this. Implement them and your group will serve everyone equally – lifting you all up together.

The Basic Group Rules

To begin with, you need some logistical and practical rules:

  • Frequency: How often do we meet?
  • Time & Date: Which day and at what time will we meet?
  • Location: Where? Physically, or online? Or a combination of both?
  • Agenda: How long and with which structure do we run the meetings?
  • Roles: Who will facilitate and who will keep notes?
  • Commitment: Which preparation are we committing to? When do we upload it?
  • Communication: How often, about what, and where do we communicate with each other?
  • Container: How many weeks/months do we run this group before we evaluate it?
  • Group size: What is the minimum and maximum size?
  • Member selection: How do we select new members?

Advanced Rules

If you want to maximize your mastermind experience, you also need agreements about interacting with each other.

  • Core values: Determine these as a group. What do we stand for?
  • Level of challenge: How directly do we want to be confronted and called out?
  • Support: Which emotional support do we offer, and how do we do that?
  • Participation: How can we ensure equal participation of all members?
  • Member evaluation: How do we evaluate each other, and when do we part ways?

An experienced facilitator can guide a group through the levels of challenge, manage participation levels.

Mastermind Group Rules Examples

Here at Tribepreneurs, we run our groups for either 3 months or a year. People pay a set fee to join. This ensures active participation and commitment. Therefore we don’t have to set rules around this but you might need to.

mastermind group rulesAn example of our rules:

  1. Confidentiality – what happens in the group stays there. You don’t discuss anything of any other member with anyone else outside of the meetings.
  2. Follow the structure and timekeeping of the facilitator. Time’s up means time is up and we move on.
  3. Group core values:
    1. Safety – What happens in the group stays in the group. Openness to express anything and everything. Allow discussion of mistakes and errors, to learn from them and create better future outcomes.
    2. Respect – We allow the other to define what is important for them. We don’t judge. We challenge each other and we honour each other’s boundaries.
    3. Honesty – Speak your truth. Don’t hide anything of yourself. Be honest towards the other as well. Uphold clear mirrors. Dare to challenge each other.
    4. Vulnerability – You are allowed to show every part of yourself. Take off your mask. Admit your flaws. Admit your strengths. Being real.
    5. Equality – There is no better and no worse. We are all equal.

Ready to Start a Mastermind Group? Use These Tips

You know the importance of rules and which to implement. Now what? You could join one. Or are you ready to start your mastermind group? If so, here are tips that will ensure a successful liftoff:

  1. Purpose. Decide on a common goal. Will it be for business development? Personal growth? Being a better parent?
  2. Group members. Find your team. This can be friends or total strangers. Choose wisely! Remember, you don’t have to like them.
  3. Kick-Off meeting. Set the ground rules as a facilitator or together as a group.
  4. Container. Decide how long you are going to run this group and when you will evaluate the process together.
  5. Harmony. Remember that harmony is the bedrock of a mastermind group. Build trust and commitment, and be honest and transparent with each other.

Many groups fail because they lack facilitation expertise. Some fail because of a mismatch in members, and others fail to set up clear Mastermind Group Rules.

Don’t be one of them! Use the tips in this article and you are bound to be successful!

Thank you for reading! And happy masterminding.

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