Facilitator, Member, or Both?
The Success Alliance


Facilitator, Member, or Both?

A great question was raised in yesterday’s class: “What are your thoughts about participating in a mastermind group as both facilitator and participating member (where I take my turn on the hot seat too)?”

I love this idea, and I’ve been part of a many mastermind groups where I’m both facilitating the meetings and got a chance to be in the hot seat myself. But your role in the group is a special animal all on its own, so here are some things to consider:

It takes a bit of mental juggling, because you’re paying attention to the discussion flow, group dynamics process, and the timing of the meeting. All this, and you’re simultaneously listening and communicating as a member.

My personal thought is that this group should be free, as you are getting personal benefit (value) from being in the group. However, if the group is requiring more of your facilitation skills, time and money than the value you receive, consider charging for your group. For instance, if you’re the one paying to rent the meeting room or you’re doing a lot of administrative work setting up meetings, review those while you’re making a decision about free vs. paid.

Or — if you’re concerned about commitment and people showing up for meetings, consider that each member investing money into the group as a way to express the value everyone is getting from the meetings. Ask each member to make a financial investment and use the pooled money to host a retreat weekend or holiday party for everyone, or vote on a charity to donate the pooled money.

One way to juggle the two roles is to have other members take on some of the responsibilities. Can someone else send out the meeting reminders? Can another member order the food? Could the entire group vote on meeting agendas and work together to find guest speakers?

So go ahead — facilitate a group and be a member in it at the same time! You’ll get lots of value, and you’ll have an opportunity to practice your facilitation skills in a supportive environment.

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