Creating an environment of trust and respect in your group is essential. Without it, your members will flounder and your group will eventually die as your members exit in droves.
But with psychological safety, magic happens!
Google did a study of work teams and they found that how the team worked together was far more important than who was on the team. Collective wisdom and creative problem-solving rose significantly when the group felt safe with each other. That’s exactly what we want in a mastermind group, right?
They also found that psychological safety led the group to prize each member’s continual learning and improvement. This is a major benefit of mastermind groups and one of the most important shared values.
When members feel safe:
They’re more engaged with the group. This keeps ideas and solutions flowing and lifts the creativity of everyone in the group.
They bounce back from difficult situations better. They feel supported and nurtured. They know they can lean on the community when they’re building their resilience muscles after a fall.
Naturally, all this raises motivation and overall positive vibes. It also increases group engagement and retention.
Your role as the group facilitator
Express clear guidelines of how the group will work together, and what behaviors are expected. Enforce these group guidelines consistently.
Promote the idea that it’s okay to take risks, even if you fail. Assure your members that they can tell the group anything, even if it’s difficult or embarrassing. When members feel they can share creative, out-of-the-box ideas and admit mistakes in a supportive environment, the group thrives.
Work with the group early to establish group shared values and identify common goals and bonds among the members.
Teach your members how to brainstorm well together and encourage them to applaud successes as well as dissect failures.
Come from a place of curiosity instead of assuming you know the answer. Ask questions that help uncover motivation levels, limiting beliefs, lack of skill/knowledge, etc.
Practice tough love when necessary — and teach all your members how to have these difficult but important conversations with each other.
How do you know your mastermind group members feel safe?
They readily admit when they are stuck, haven’t completed a project, or have failed in some way.
When they do talk about these things, the rest of the group is open and supportive. They don’t dump blame or shame on each other. Instead, they collaborate to find a solution and offer constructive feedback.
Members encourage each other to “find the lesson in the failure,” so that everyone learns how to avoid similar problems in the future.
They enthusiastically share successes, knowing the group wants only the best for them. They don’t hide their light under a bushel.
All members readily speak up in meetings, challenge each other, and openly share ideas and resources.
Members are comfortable sharing creative ideas and solutions, even if they seem a little off the wall, knowing that it’s this special kind of brainstorming that produces the best results.
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