Having a stable and predictable agenda for Mastermind Group meetings builds trust and facilitates communication. After the first few meetings all participants know what they will be facing in each meeting and are prepared for it and this creates an important comfort zone for everyone.
But sometimes a little adventure is needed. To periodically incorporate something unexpected that forces everyone to rethink their role and, ideally, face something new and unknown.
Here are some ideas to break the routine in your Mastermind Group:
Launch a challenge for a month
A Mastermind Group forces all participants to be responsible for what they say. Why not make the members commit to a big and bold goal that has to be achieved within 30 days? The challenges for 3 months can be frustrating for a busy group of professionals. What if we limit it to just 30 days? What if we add daily accountability checks? To be truly motivated, it is important that the winners get a great reward for their efforts. Or perhaps, if the group is open to these alternatives, an exemplary punishment for participants who do not succeed.
Organise a weekend retreat for the participants
Do you feel that the meetings are too short and that the creative process of the Mastermind Group has to be interrupted? One option is to book a full day or a weekend and find a place away from the usual environment where you can work without having to keep an eye on the clock. This can also facilitate the fraternization between the participants by being able to interact during leisure time, during meals or with other activities that the whole group does together during that time. Additionally, couples or companions can be incorporated and it can serve as a socialization event.
Do 10-minute Hot Seats
Imagine the energy that is created when each participant only has 10 minutes to present their most important problem and get the best possible feedback! Be very clear and brief both when presenting the problem and with each group intervention. There is no possibility of a second round. You have to be extremely strict with the time and order of participation.
Choose a book to study and implement with the group
If there is an issue that concerns most participants and there are no experts within the group, an alternative is to seek that expert knowledge outside. Surely there is a book that can provide valuable solutions for everyone. If you identify this type of situation have your Mastermind Group look at and vote on a book and decide on a timetable for reading it (perhaps one chapter a week). At each meeting spend some time brainstorming the concepts covered in the book according to the calendar since the last meeting. This will force people to keep up with the reading. Make sure that people who can benefit from it commit to implementing some of the actions and monitor progress.
Organize master classes
Have each member volunteer to present a topic they have mastered for 30 minutes at each meeting. Allow members to choose the topic they prefer to present. It should be a topic that benefits everyone in the group and the presentation should be adjusted to the level of knowledge of all participants. Everyone knows tools, techniques, ways of working that can be beneficial to others and that would naturally never come up as a need to be solved by the Mastermind Group.
Define the group’s mission
Treat the Mastermind Group as an organisation in which everyone participates and leads. Have all participants brainstorm what the group’s mission and vision is. What is the purpose of the group? What are its core values? Where do you see the group in one year… or in two years? What profile would be good to incorporate into the group? Any other questions about how to improve the group without abandoning the principles of a Mastermind.
Create subgroups around a specific topic
If there are problems that only some of the people are interested in, it can be frustrating for those who don’t have that need. Part of the meeting time can be spent working in smaller groups focusing on specific topics. When you return to work with the whole group you should share the commitments made and the results achieved. All members should have a place in one of the sub-groups and it is advisable to set a maximum number of meetings where these sub-groups will be held.
These are just a few ideas. There may be other ways to make the meetings more dynamic. Participants may be warned or they may be surprised when they are already there. It is highly advisable to vary the routine of the sessions periodically to introduce diversity and take note of the results achieved to keep the group motivated and to obtain the best results for all of them.