What’s the secret of mastermind groups online that gets results? Why do some groups have such consistent attendance, while others don’t?
One reason I can usually point to is an inconsistent, unclear communication strategy inside the groups. It’s about how you deliver the service you’re paid to provide. As you can imagine, it’s very important, both for retention and referrals.
Many entrepreneurs I’ve talked to over the years ask how I can oversee 19 groups with 8-12 members each, and still see single-digit turnover. I don’t mention those numbers to brag, because there’s no secret recipe or magic spell to this.
We simply observe the way the world works, and adapt to it. (Come on now, do you really picture me sitting around casting spells to get people to join online mastermind groups?)
But there are ways I’ve learned to run effective meetings, which become available to you when you use The Mastermind Playbook to grow your group. I’ll just name a few of them, so you get the idea.
WHAT YOU MUST NOT LET HAPPEN DURING A MEETING
First though, let’s agree on what you should not do. It’s tempting to think masterminds online will “take care of themselves,” when it comes to steering conversation.
It’s true, members will figure out things to talk about, if you don’t provide them. But you may not like what they end up discussing, if you don’t drive the agenda. It’s like years back when somebody said to me, “Do y’all just get together and talk about football?”
Well, I had to laugh at that one. But it’s actually a good question, for a men’s mastermind. It covers a lot of what average American men like to talk about. I saw this coming, and although I do enjoy discussing a football game now and then, that’s not what drives me. When we called our group “Iron Sharpens Iron,” we weren’t talking about gridirons.
Whether you’re doing a personal or business mastermind, it’s safe to say you should avoid shallow topics that allow people to keep each other at arm’s length. But if you’re not going to talk about football (or other inconsequential things), you have to ask: what do we talk about?
PICK THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS
The most important things you can focus on with people don’t seem obvious. In fact, most of the time, I couldn’t tell you what’s “most important” to discuss for myself, never mind anybody else. There are so many things that compete for our attention!
You have to pull back instead, and stop viewing people from a material perspective. People don’t come with instruction manuals, or have bullet lists spelling out their top three priorities on any given day. But you can view them as living, breathing stories.
I confess, I didn’t pay much attention in English class. But I know enough to know that stories have beginnings, middles and ends. This is how I recommend you treat the people who pay to be part of your mastermind.
Your approach should follow President Franklin Roosevelt, in his “fireside chats.” He would address the nation by starting with events that had recently happened. Then he’d tell the American people how the government planned to respond. Finally, he’d tell them next steps, or what results they should expect.
This isn’t all that different, by the way, from how we help you build a successful mastermind group from start to finish, using The Mastermind Playbook.
5 WAYS TO RUN MORE EFFECTIVE MASTERMIND MEETINGS
I’ll let you in on a little of our process. It isn’t rocket science, and it’s not one of the world’s best-kept secrets. A lot of mastermind groups out there simply don’t observe these rules, so they end up losing members and closing their doors.
- Wins. We always start off our meetings by giving members an opportunity to share “wins.” This is a chance to celebrate and recognize achievements, positive things and individual happiness.
- Elephant in the Room. One net positive of the craziness of 2020 is our groups are having conversations we’d never have otherwise. We’re walking life out, even when the ground is shifting underneath our feet. Don’t dodge these subjects when they come up.
- Book Questions. We’ve never wavered from our core belief that leaders are readers. But it’s challenging to keep people focused on the same book. To move the ball down the field, we switched to having facilitators and group leaders read ahead and develop discussion questions of their own - which we then repurpose, to use in the groups.
- Man In the Middle. Other groups call this “the hot seat,” and it’s a vulnerable place to be. But the whole idea is to violate society’s “keep it shallow” rules and open up our lives and businesses to trusted advisors. It’s the way of all top performers in business - they all have advisory boards.
- Full Cup - Unique to our culture is an unwritten rule that when you find something valuable, you share it with the tribe. Our members find people, strategies, services or products that really help them … and they share them inside our private communication channels.
Now, if this sounds like a more organized and efficient way to run a mastermind … that’s because it is. We’ve done things this way for over a decade.
If you would like a similar strategy to build and scale your mastermind group, I encourage you to check out The Mastermind Playbook and see if it’s a fit.