I read a bunch of online articles and two ebooks on running masterminds. I've never participated in one before. If anyone with experience has thoughts, I'm all ears!wikipedia wrote:A mastermind group is a peer-to-peer mentoring group used to help members solve their problems with input and advice from the other group members.
- Every two weeks (Fortnightly)
- Zoom, google hangouts, whatever. Video call.
- 60-90 minutes.
- 4-8 members.
- Time-bound: We'll aim to run it for six months (12 calls), and then either let it go, or reform, or whatever we decide to do.
- Call Format Option 1: Each person gets ~10min for their turn. They share a goal, a decision they're working through, and give updates and thinking on it. The other participants offer feedback and advice, and most notably do their part to hold each other accountable.
- Call Format Option 2: Each meeting, the focus is 90% on one member to deep dive on their stuff. The other 10% is a very brief update from everyone.
- A signal group or slack channel for communication only between mastermind members.
- Strict confidentiality agreement. We'll know each other's names and faces, and (theoretically) be sharing some level of intimate details of our lives and struggles. We have to agree not to discuss the details of what we share with each other on the calls, unless it's been explicitly okay'd. (When I post updates on how the group is going, I'm going to be speaking in generalities and not sharing any specifics).
- Accountability. You state your explicit goals to the group, and they hold you to it. This increases your chance of achieving your goals by some significant amount, according to studies.
- Insight. You share your current thinking on a challenge, and having 3-7 other brains giving feedback can show you a way forward that wouldn't have occurred to you.
- Resources. Other people might be able to hook you up with a contact, a book, a concept, a technique to look in to, that will unlock whatever it is you're in to.
The journals are essentially a form of written mastermind. As Jacob pointed out in the Stoa thread, people of similar WL's tend to congregate, encourage each other, and do all of the other functions that I listed above for a mastermind. So, what's the point of hopping on a call with a half dozen other forumites every fortnight, when there's a perfectly good treasure trove of ERE mastermindery sitting right here?
My best answer is speed, and using the magic of direct accountability with people who you are more intimately engaged with than anonymous commenters on a public board, to attain your ERE goals with a higher win/lose ratio. I'm thinking of the mastermind group as "the journals, but on trucker speed". It's certainly not intended to replace the journals, the idea is that it's for folks who think some intense social accountability will sprinkle some rocket fuel on their ERE path.
I think it bears emphasizing that masterminds aren't a social club. In addition, every article and book I've read on the topic to date has emphasized how much *more* you'll get out of a group the more you are vulnerable and courageous enough to go deep. This isn't a tips n tricks swapping call, it's a let's get in to the mud and be real kind of thing. My job as facilitator will be to ensure the calls stay on structure and don't turn in to meandering rambles.
As a participant of a mastermind, I expect people to call me on my bs, and challenge me when I give excuses. To drive me to uncomfortable places (with compassion, let's keep the EQ high here folks) in self-inquiry. I have a TON of other cooler stuff to do with my life than sit in front of a computer on yet another zoom call. I expect to get, and do my damnedest to give, a nice meaty chunk of value for my time investment.
I suspect doing a Mastermind Group will only be of interest to a small percentage of people. Also, this experiment may crash and burn for any number of reasons. It hasn't been tried yet, so I hope to either institute something valuable, or contribute the cautionary tale of our lack of success to the canon of ERE knowledge.
I already have enough people who indicated interest to fill one group. If you aren't one of those people, but are still interested, comment here or PM me. Maybe there's enough to run more than one group at a time - perhaps someone else wants to facilitate a second, or potentially I'd be up to facilitate two groups if there is enough interest.