20th June 2017
Mastermind Agendas – The difference between success and failure:
Masterminds don’t work! Let me clarify that. Masterminds don’t work unless they have an agenda or structure to follow. The actual Mastermind agenda you choose is nowhere near as important as ensuring that you do have some kind of agenda in place. The framework ensures an equal contribution and participation (remember this is a mastermind and NOT a coaching session) as well as maximum efficiency and time management. The group all need some input and support ensure that they gain maximum value. You don’t start a car journey without a destination or a map and you can’t run a successful mastermind group without an agenda or desired outcome. Below is a summary of how many masterminds are structured – this is just a guideline and we have a more comprehensive attachment with many more Mastermind formats for your to download and keep.
We strongly believe that every meeting should start with a “check-in” This is a simple yet highly effective way to both communicate where you are emotionally and list 1 thing you are grateful for. It gives everyone else at the meeting an instant snapshot of both your energy levels, your emotional level plus the gratitude aspect allows them to both know a tiny bit about you (making it a little more personal) and an insight into what potentially motivates you. All in just 10 seconds. When you know all this why would you NOT use the check-in process at the start of each mastermind? Still not sure? Here is a quick example to help you see what it would look like.
Mastermind attendee #1 – “Today I am 8.5 out of 10. 1 thing I am grateful for is the advice I got last week when I was particularly stuck on my marketing plan” – What this tells us is:-
- 8.5 Out of 10 is pretty good. This person is both positive today, potentially has lots of energy and is in a good and receptive mood.
- Grateful for the advice. This tells the group that they valued the help and advice they received. Maybe they didn’t get the chance to tell everyone yet but now they have just acknowledged that the help they got was both appreciated and useful. Gratitude is complex as it’s an emotion, a feeling, and can also be a personality trait. It’s something that we actually need to work on, almost like a learned skill or habit and it becomes a great trait with practice.
Depending on the size of the group it is important to try and arrange an update from everyone. Each member should have accomplished something since the previous meeting and it’s important to include ALL the group in each mastermind session. If the group is around 8 (the optimum maximum size for an online mastermind) then having a 2-3 minute “whip round” for everyone will still take between 16 – 24 minutes. Therefore it’s really important to prep in advance for this if you intend using this feature in your agenda. Preparation enables everyone to succinctly tell the summary of their work, roadblocks, wins or challenges and lessons learned, since the last meeting, but also stay within the allotted time. Without the prep you can chew up big chunks of valuable time with participants just trying to remember what they did, or what they committed to achieve (goal setting), meaning there is a real danger that the allocated time runs significantly over and you don’t get to complete your agenda.
The hot seat could be anywhere from just 1 person to possibly 3 people, depending on how long your mastermind is scheduled to run for and the size of the groups. In a small mastermind group of 3, you could easily just run 3 X 15-minute hot seats and dig deeper into the issues everyone is facing. In a larger group unless you choose a group agenda that runs for 90 minutes or longer you just won’t have the time to address more than 1 persons’ needs in this more detailed fashion.
If you are unsure of how to instigate the hot seat then try one of these 4 sentences to enable to the person in the seat to either explain the challenges they may be facing and kick start a dialogue:
- The actions I’ve taken are ….
- I’m feeling….
- My question is ….
- I’m having problems with ….
Ideally the hot seat works best if the person is scheduled in advance (maybe even have a fixed rota) This again enables time to do some preparation and they know what topic or question they would like to ask of the other members, what outcomes they would like to achieve or even to just clarify the issues they are facing. The rest of the mastermind group can also prep their answers and thoughts so that they present a better version than having to think up something on the spot. They hot seat participant must be willing to open up and be a little vulnerable, honest and forthright but also be prepared for answers or suggestions that they may not agree with, like or even believe in. However, this is EXACTLY where the true value in mastermind groups lie.
Goals & Objectives
No great Mastermind agenda would be complete without the tracking of goals and objectives. It’s one thing to state to your tribe your intentions and what you want to achieve, but the value is with the accountability of reviewing the goals you set and making sure that you actually achieved them. We can’t stress this often enough – your goals needs to be S.M.A.R.T and it’s worth reviewing our epic blog on vision and goal setting to ensure that you are working toward the right goals.
Anyone that is not a huge fan of structure can incorporate some kind of open floor into their Mastermind agenda to appease the free thinkers or those that work better with fewer constraints. This is a chance to discuss anything and everything. Maybe it’s something that just came up in the current Mastermind or an idea that’s been percolating for some time. If you intend to run an open floor you may still need a few starter questions (structure again) to get the ball rolling and get people talking and interacting. Depending on the level of expertise in the mastermind this could be a few “on topic” deep questions or just a basic conversation starter with a Why, What, Who, How, When……
Just remember that you still need to allocate a start/end time for this segment and keep an eye on the timing.
Guest Expert or Presentation
Adding a guest expert or a presentation is a great way of changing up your formats and creating some diversity within your mastermind group. Ideally, you guest expert needs to be knowledgeable AND have a great presenting style (they don’t always come hand in hand). They also need to know the difference between presenting vs selling/pitching their services as too often we see presenters that are too focused on the latter. If the information is of enough interest to your audience they will naturally seek out the presenter for either more information or a request to potentially work with them. Presenters should ensure that they use the allotted time to provide maximum value without expectation.
We have barely scratched the surface when it comes to listing the possible online Mastermind agendas and you are only limited by your imagination as to how you can make your Masterminds fun, relevant and enjoyable for everyone involved. The key message we want convey is that the agenda is the glue that binds it all together, keeps the flow happening and allows everyone to feel comfortable. Knowing the agenda and the purpose of the meeting creates better outcomes and therefore a more successful Mastermind group.
If you are serious about running your online meetings then it’s a good idea to get a guide to help you set your own agenda. Do you have a different Mastermind agenda that we have not covered? We are always learning and would be happy to add your format to our comprehensive list just contact us and we will update our post.