How Many Members Should Be In a Mastermind Group?

I’ve been running mastermind groups since 1995,¬†and I’ve seen groups of all sizes. There are some questions you need to ask yourself before deciding how many members should be in your mastermind group:

  1. How much total time is available at each meeting? Meetings need to have a begin and end time, and many meetings that run over 90 minutes can run out of steam without frequent breaks. Yet breaks also cause interruption of the energy levels. So first decide how long each meeting will be, then go on to Question 2.
  2. How much time should each member get to be in the “hot seat” to talk about their problem, challenge or decision? Members need time to first verbalize their situation before masterminding can begin in earnest. Some members are quick and can sum it up in five minutes or less. Others need 10-15 minutes just to set the stage. THEN you need time to mastermind after that. We did an experiment in one of my mastermind group meetings recently: we had a non-timed meeting, just to see what would naturally occur. Thirty minutes per member was our average time for each hot seat.
  3. What other items are on your agenda? Remember that your meeting typically includes some sort of opening and closing, as well as possible guest speakers, training or other events. Allow time for those in your agenda, then plan accordingly.

In my mastermind groups, I tend to look for 4-6 members per group. Less than four and the energy level can drop (though I know several very successful mastermind groups with three members in them!), and more than six members will probably cause you to run out of time. However, if you’re doing half-day or full-day meetings, you may be able to include more members.


3 Comments

  1. Jef MenguinNo Gravatar

    This article is very helpful. I hope to create my own mastermind groups.

  2. Susan Weiner, CFANo Gravatar

    Karyn,

    I think you started my mastermind group with six people. Almost five years later, we’re down to four, but still going strong.

    Thank you!

  3. Karyn GreenstreetNo Gravatar

    Four is a great number, Susan! I’ve been in groups of four and they’re really powerful because each person gets a lot of time to work on their topic. :)

3 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Consider that as a group grows in size, social loafing increases. It’s anothe reason why I encourage small group sizes for masterminding. [...]

  2. [...] Decide how many people – The best groups are 4-8 people, for two reasons: First, it gives everyone a chance to be in the “hot seat” at each meeting. Second, if someone doesn’t show up for the meeting, there are still enough people there to effectively mastermind together. If you need more information on how many people should be in your group, read the article How Many Members Should Be In a Mastermind Group? [...]

  3. [...] See the original article posted here on my website devoted to starting and running mastermind groups, The Success Alliance. [...]