Category Archives: Mastermind Group Facilitation

Allow Off-Topic Conversations in Your Mastermind Group?

Let’s pretend that you have a mastermind group focused on real estate investment. John, a member of the group, wants to mastermind about his divorce. Should that topic be allowed?

It doesn’t matter what the primary topic or focus of your mastermind group is, the purpose of most mastermind groups is to create success in your personal and professional life, as EACH PERSON defines “success.”

Ah…but what do you do when a member want to talk about something off-topic that is affecting his success? What are the rules and guidelines you use to figure out whether to allow that conversation to blossom or to nip it in the bud?

Here’s my take on off-topic conversation in a mastermind group

If the topic of conversation affects the member’s performance in the MAIN focus area of the group, it should be allowed.

So let’s go back to John’s story. The emotional, financial and physical aspects of his pending divorce ARE affecting his ability to be a good real estate investor. His judgment is clouded. His financial resources are low. He’s overwhelmed and preoccupied.

Allowing him to talk about his divorce — and how it’s affecting his success as a real estate investor — will give him new insights and creative options, as well as support and encouragement. Refusing to talk about his divorce hog-ties his success.

Define your group’s intention and boundaries

For both the Facilitator and the group members, the trick is to not turn your mastermind group into a psychotherapy support group. You’ll all need to work together to focus John’s conversation on how he can find creative solutions and get the support he needs. If all John can talk about is his divorce then he probably needs to find a different kind of group to help support him during his divorce. (Then you can invite him back to the mastermind group when he’s ready to begin moving forward again with his real estate investing.)

It’s a fine line to walk: should we allow off-topic discussions or not? I think as a mastermind group facilitator, you can tell whether the discussion has gotten off track or has turned too negative. Trust your own judgment. If you’re not sure, poll the group and ask for feedback.

As the Facilitator it’s your job to pay attention to repeated behavior, repeated topics and repeated performance. If John wants to mastermind about his divorce once or twice, I wouldn’t worry about it. But if it becomes a repeated topic and outside the scope and purpose of your group, then you’ll need to speak with John about his situation.

What Really Happens in a Mastermind Group Meeting? Come, Peek Inside One

Are you curious about what REALLY happens inside a mastermind group meeting with all that creative brainstorming and accountability?

Join me for a Taste of a Mastermind Group!

In this one-hour mastermind group session recording, three people are be on the “Hot Seat,” bringing their challenges, questions and idea needs to the group.

This particular mastermind group session is about running and growing a business, so it will be extra helpful to those of you who are self-employed small business owners. (But even personal and professional development mastermind groups are run the same way, so this is a great chance to peek inside a group meeting and see the inner workings.)

Get the free recording and see behind-the-curtain into a real mastermind group meeting!

Check It Out >>>

If you’ve been curious what a mastermind group meeting is all about, or if you want to see how I run them with my own groups, check out this free recording!

Why Mastermind Group Guidelines Matter

When starting and running your own mastermind group, it’s imperative that you and your mastermind members come up with some rules about the purpose of the group and how members are expected to behave. These rules are often compiled into a document called Group Guidelines and each member signs it to show they agree to follow these rules and principles.

Here’s why rules and guidelines matter: initially, your group is getting a feel for each other, connecting (or not connecting) based on personality, goals and communication style.

Then comes the rocky part of any mastermind group (sort of like the “seven year itch” in marriage) where things can fall apart. Group members don’t honor each other’s boundaries, people don’t show up for meetings, and the energy of the group falls flat.

Group Guidelines help the Group Facilitator to bring the group back into alignment. Breaking the discussion pattern for one session and focusing on the group’s goals and purpose helps to solidify a group that’s faltering. It gets people to re-commit to the group process, and gives people who have been looking for an escape from the group the perfect opportunity to leave in a healthy way.

Facilitators can also use the Group Guidelines when speaking with a difficult member, one that the group hopes to retain, but only if he/she modifies their behavior to conform to the Guidelines.

Harmony and respect are the keywords to any successful mastermind group. Written Group Guidelines will help you keep harmony and respect flowing smoothly.