By Karyn Greenstreet
Posted in:Mastermind Group Facilitation
It’s no surprise that both positive and negative group psychology shows up in mastermind groups. Humans are social creatures and we have similar behaviors in any type of group. But in a mastermind group, we actively push back against those negative group psychological norms, to create a productive experience.
We think and act differently in groups than we do on our own. We work better because it’s motivating to be part of a group. You form clearer goals, make wiser decisions, and take consistent action toward your goals when you witness others in your group doing the same thing. Working in a group makes your members feel they are part of a community.
Psychologists find that smaller groups work in a more cohesive manner. According to a study by Michael J. Saks, PhD., they studied the use of 6-person juries versus 12-person juries. In the end analysis, he indicates, “In smaller groups, members shared more equally in the discussion, found the deliberations more satisfying, and were more cohesive.” This is one reason I recommend smaller mastermind groups versus larger ones: you can take discussions deeper and create stronger bonds among members.
Groups can support and encourage us. But we do odd things in groups that reduce our effectiveness.
The Google Team study explains it: On the good teams, members spoke in roughly the same proportion. As long as everyone got a chance to talk, the team did well. But if only a few people dominated the conversation, the collective intelligence declined.
And that’s what mastermind groups are all about — sharing the collective intelligence. We can’t control group social behavior. But we can be aware of group psychology and watch out for it in our own mastermind groups. Then, bring it up in your meetings and have your members discuss it.