Facilitating Virtual Mastermind Groups
By Karyn Greenstreet
People often ask me:
- Can mastermind groups can be run virtually so that members can join from anywhere in the world?
- What is different about virtual mastermind groups versus running in-person groups?
Let’s answer those two questions…
The answer to the first question is an unequivocal “Yes!”
All the mastermind groups I run today are virtual, and I’ve been running virtual mastermind groups since 2002.
I have members from USA and Canada, all over Europe, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
It’s so convenient when members can join meetings from their home or office. And if you have members who travel, they can dial in from their phones, so they don’t miss a meeting.
There are some differences
- Because your group isn’t meeting in-person, your own skills as a facilitator need to be as strong as possible. You must create ways for members to bond with each other and build trust. Facilitating the discussions and brainstorming requires you to bridge the technology and help your members communicate effectively.
- When I first started running virtual mastermind groups, we used teleconferencing services. Today, I’m using video conferencing which allows members to see each other and create a stronger bond. Choose a technology platform that allows your members to connect with each other deeply.
- If your members are in a wide range of time zones where a single meeting time doesn’t work for everyone, consider using an online message forum or social media group for communication. Members can post text-based messages, or create short videos to share their thoughts. You do miss out on the connection that comes from all meeting at the same time, but you gain by offering members a way to connect that meets their personal needs, even if it’s not realtime.
Steps to setting up your virtual mastermind group:
- Choose a technology platform. I use Zoom video conferencing with my mastermind groups because it’s accessible to most people throughout the world. There are also many teleconferencing services available; just make sure they have dial-in numbers worldwide. If you choose to meet via message forum or social media group, make sure each of your members has a login ID and can easily use the software.
- Set your meeting dates and time. Pay attention to time zones, and if your members’ countries change their clocks for daylight savings time or not. You can use the World Clock website to calculate time zones across the globe.
- Make sure your members know how to use the technology. Consider scheduling a practice session where everyone can make sure they can access the platform properly. Or, create a text or video tutorial which tells them how to login and use the platform. Don’t assume your members know how to use the platform you’ve chosen; they might be able to login, but do they know how to access and use the platform for your masterminding?
- Choose ground rules. If it’s a video meeting, must all members show up on the video, or can they turn off their video? How will members indicate that they would like to jump into the conversation, especially if you can’t see each other? What is the meeting agenda? If you are using a message forum or social media group, what is the protocol for asking for and giving help?
Virtual mastermind groups are a wonderful opportunity for you to connect with members worldwide. With a little planning — and the sharpening of your facilitation skills — your groups will soar!
Got questions about virtual mastermind groups? Leave a comment below!