When it comes to building skills of any kind, there are a lot of different ways you can go about it. You could craft up your goal and only focus on working towards it every once in a while when it’s convenient for you. That, or you can have a single accountability partner where you both keep dropping the ball, or – you pay an arm and a kidney for a coach.
But there’s also a quite effective way to go about learning a new skill or accomplishing a goal that has been around for quite some time – but may be something you haven’t considered yet. And it’s called a “mastermind group.”
While coaching and taking classes are still very effective and great options to help you build a skill, there’s something that they all have in common that might not be the most effective way of learning. And it’s that the majority of the collaboration is happening between teacher and student.
The community learning element in these options are low, the collaboration is low, and the price is high – but with a mastermind group, it’s much different.
What is a Mastermind Group?
A mastermind group is a community that you build with other people who are just as interested in a selected topic, or refining a particular skill, as you are. The idea of a mastermind group is to remove the power structure that usually happens when you’re working with a coach, in a classroom or a place where there’s a single instructor doing all the teaching and guiding. Instead, a group like this allows members to learn from each other in a peer-to-peer learning environment.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any kind of leadership within a mastermind group – otherwise, that would end in chaos pretty quickly. Usually, a mastermind group is appointed a facilitator or leader who guides members through outlining their goal, helping them organize a schedule and moderate meetings as they attempt to accomplish that goal. Everyone in a mastermind group meets together regularly, and you all commit to the goal and remain confidential if necessary. It’s a group built on trust and loyalty to perform your role in the group.
The leader and facilitator of a mastermind group is simply there to encourage the discussion and make sure the goals are accomplished, the conversation stays on track, and the agenda and objectives that the group decides on are clear and organized. They act as more of a moderator than an actual teacher would in a coaching environment.
Mastermind Groups aren’t group coaching sessions, networking groups, masterclasses or anything of the sort. The main idea is to learn, grow and accomplish a mutual goal as a group. And you do this through peer-to-peer collaboration, brainstorming and creative problem solving.
Where Did Mastermind Groups come from?
The first concept of a mastermind group was actually introduced back in the 1920s in a book written by Napoleon Hill – a well-known American author. He wrote the book called The Law of Success, where he talked about the effectiveness of what he called a “master mind alliance” – which we now call a Mastermind Group.
Napoleon expanded more on the idea in his second book that he published in the 1930s, Think And Grow Rich – which ended up being one of his most well-known books.
In these books, he talked about how effective it was for people to come together in an organized environment that’s focused on thinking together, growing together and accomplishing common goals together. Apparently even Benjamin Franklin was part of his own mastermind group back in the day.
Within mastermind groups, you support one another along the journey of your growth by giving feedback, ideating solutions and coming up with new ideas. This formula for initiating learning and development has been used for decades, but now – we’re seeing them be used in many different ways.
You might see some commonalities in Facebook Groups or Discord chats where there are moderators and it’s structured to support people through achieving a similar goal. But with mastermind groups, there tends to be a bit more structure and organization as well as real meetups. But that’s not to say you can’t turn your group or chat into more of a mastermind group structure – and if you do, it could be your best decision yet.
7 Reasons You Should Start a Mastermind Group
1. It helps you network and discover new opportunities
Because of the size of some Facebook groups or online chats, it can be hard to really connect with people and build relationships on a deeper level. But, mastermind groups let you do this while also being more focused on the actual goal at hand.
Again, while networking isn’t the main focus of a mastermind group, having a structured experience like this where you are working with others who feel the same drive and interest in a common goal as you do – you’re bound to also build some connections in the meantime that could open up a world of opportunities (or friendships) for you down the line.
Not only this, but if you are running your own business or project, a mastermind group can be a great way to have a support group of sorts that you can turn to for advice when you’re not sure what to do.
2. It holds you accountable (and it actually works)
If you’ve ever found it hard to stick to your goal by yourself or with a friend holding you accountable – a mastermind group could be the answer. A group like this follows the same structured environment as a coaching session or a class where you get strong accountability, but here, you get it from more people with more control and collaboration.
Mastermind groups could also reinforce the theory by Johnson & Johnson called the Social Interdependence Theory which says that when working within a group, your motivation and success grows based on the accomplishments of the other people around you.
This means either everyone in the group succeeds, or everyone fails. And if everyone is highly motivated to succeed in your mastermind group, the likelihood of accomplishing your goal is far higher than if you were simply working alone.
3. There’s no power dynamics or judgment
While your mastermind group sets targets and goals, the whole idea of the group is to be compassionate, encouraging and hold you accountable. You won’t “fail” as you would in a marked exam for a class, and you don’t feel like there’s a higher-up figure that’s going to look down on you for not meeting your targets.
This is a vertical learning space where you all learn together, feel equal and help each other along as you go. It’s more inclusive and fostered around collaboration rather than coaching or passing down a single perspective or knowledge on how to perform a skill or reach a goal.
4. It helps you take your mastery to the next level
Mastermind groups could also be a great way to master a skill, because your quality of retention and learning could be higher. That’s because being successful and learning to the best of your abilities, according to the Harvard Business Review, happens when there’s something they call the “learning loop”. This means you go through these 4 stages:
- Gain knowledge,
- Practice through applying that knowledge,
- Get feedback on your work,
- Have a chance to reflect on what you’ve learned.
And the peer-to-peer learning element within Mastermind Groups reflect this learning loop perfectly.
Not only this, but you can create an optimal schedule and routine as a group that everyone agrees upon to work towards your goal. Often, you get paired with a member within that group you would work the best with. You can meet daily, weekly or monthly – whatever suits your schedules.
This means that you are in more of a place of power to pick what times work for you, and build a structure that best supports the group. This puts you in an optimal environment, which can actually help you to better focus, increase your understanding and improve your openness to different solutions.
5. It helps you build other skills
Beyond the initial goal of your mastermind group, there are plenty of other skills and goals that you can accomplish just by being part of a group like this.
These groups help you hone your social skills, collaboration skills, problem solving skills, creative thinking and brainstorming abilities. All of these can come in handy for whatever endeavors or goals you take on beyond the group.
6. Discover new perspectives on a whole new level
Oftentimes when we learn from a single teacher or coach, we miss out on the varying different perspectives that can be used when facing a particular situation or goal. With mastermind groups, you’re hearing from a diverse group of people from all walks of life.
Getting to hear contrasting, complementary and completely out-of-the-box perspectives can often help us look at situations in unique ways, find interesting solutions and consider different points of view.
Also, depending on the people you meet in the group, you can learn about a whole new skill or interest that you may never have thought of. And then, this could influence your direction entirely towards accomplishing your goal – or a completely different goal all together.
7. No or low costs associated
Tuition for classes, coaching costs and even buying online courses to master a skill or get the motivation to complete a project can be ridiculously expensive. Not to mention, with the way the world and the economy is today– we all want to save as much as we can.
One of the benefits of a mastermind group is you can get a highly effective learning environment where costs are limited– all you need is a space to meet up, and solid commitment from your members. Not to mention, if you meet online using free software like Zoom or Google, you can practically do it for free.
However, there are other platforms out there you can build on that are focused specifically on creating incredible community experiences. This means it could help your engagement, boost interest and extend the longevity of your mastermind group.
Start your mastermind group with Nas.io
If you’re looking for a forward-thinking platform to join or build your very own mastermind group, Nas.io is perfect for you. We aren’t focused on just networking or teaching classes, instead, we are a platform that is directly committed to building functional, collaborative communities that help you grow and learn – whatever your interest is.
We want to help you build a customized space where you can create opportunities for growth for your audience, build connections amongst them and learn as a collective – and all of our user-friendly tools will help you bring that vision to life.
Read more at Nas.io