Before the Meeting - What to Expect from a Mastermind Group
You've taken the plunge. Your friends, mentors, or that little voice inside have told you it's time to join a mastermind group. As your first meeting rolls around, the anxiety sets in. You realize you have absolutely no idea what's about to happen! Your mind starts racing. Suddenly you imagine enlarged rats plotting to take over the world.
Have no fear. A mastermind group isn't something to be frightened about. It's a supportive, growth environment filled with positive encouragement to be anticipated. Preparing for your first meeting will help set your mind at ease.
If you're scheduled to be on the Hot Seat (or Help Seat) during the meeting, your facilitator will likely send you a form to fill out ahead of time. If you heard the term "Hot Seat" and started to panic, don't. I'll explain that in "What to Expect During the Meeting." Fill this form out as thoroughly as possible. The Prep Form is meant to help you clarify your questions ahead of time. It also helps your facilitator guide the discussion in a manner that benefits you most. The clearer you are on how people can help you, the more help you'll receive (that's some great life advice right there). Keep in mind that not every meeting will be about business. We are complex beings. When things are not right in your personal life, it spills over to business and everything else. If you have a family issue you need support on, go for it.
Helpful hint: Yes, this can be used to deal with a specific situation in your personal life. However, if the explanation of your issue begins with: "When I was in kindergarten, my mom called me..." it's best to leave that particular issue to a licensed therapist.
Slightly different than the mastermind groups of Napoleon Hill's day, most groups are now conducted through video conferencing rather than in person. This provides for the intimacy of face to face discussion, while allowing people to find the right fit without pesky geography getting in the way. To have the best experience, find a quiet, comfortable, well-lit space to set up your computer. If you have an office with a door that closes, that's ideal. If not, a kitchen table will do. Keep a notepad handy. You'll want to jot down brilliance bombs throughout the meeting.
Helpful hint: While you likely won't need to dress in business attire, keep in mind this is a video call, and even when the camera is focused on your face and shoulders, the rest of you may come into view at some point. (In case you don't pick up on subtlety very well ... please don't forget to wear pants.)
Plan for Technology
You've set up your space, and you're ready to get started. It's a good idea to test your connection and your audio a few minutes before the call. Remember that everyone's time is precious and you don't want to spend half the call futzing with technology. Your fellow group mates and the facilitator will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Helpful hint: If you've got children screaming in the background, dogs barking, or a possessed cat wandering the office, keep yourself on "Mute" until you're ready to interject.
Are you starting to calm down a bit? Good. Now it's time to find out what happens during the call.