Who wouldn’t want to be in a mastermind group? And what coach wouldn’t want to work with one? The name says it all: MASTERMIND; complete understanding; supreme oneness with anything that matters; peace with the universe. I’ve wanted to coach a mastermind group for several years but couldn’t get past the planning stage. I was going to have to describe to possible participants the characteristics of a mastermind group and the reasons to be in one. What makes a mastermind group unique and why is it better than regular group coaching? I couldn’t figure it out. Then the light bulb moment hit. I was over-thinking it all. (Isn’t there something ironic about making that decision after 14 months?) Here is the difference: The core distinction between group coaching and mastermind group coaching is a single word, “mastermind.” This word creates three differences.
Mastermind groups are synergistic. As the group participants come together in a mastermind group, they create a power greater than that which can be explained as simple group dynamics. They create a mastermind. Napoleon Hill describes it best, “You may catch a significant suggestion from this statement: No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind.” For Hill, this is a spiritual energy that “becomes available to every individual brain in a group.”
Mastermind groups are cooperatively competitive. While that sounds like a contradiction in terms, it’s not. Every participant in a mastermind group plays full-out and in doing so, pushes everyone else to do the same. The best competitors in the world will tell you that the competition is really within them. It’s not a matter of beating the other person; you have to beat yourself. When you join a mastermind group, you agree to do that: to not hold back; to push everyone else so that they will push you; to cooperatively drive everyone to their best level. Ginger Cockerham refers to this concept in her book, Group Coaching: A Comprehensive Blueprint. She writes, “As the group evolves from an unformed group of individuals seeking personal achievement and becomes a formed group of interactive and interdependent members, participants understand that they have a vested interest in supporting and encouraging other members to achieve the outcomes they want.”
Mastermind groups are highly creative. Regular coaching depends primarily on the creativity of one person—the one being coached. Most group coaching does the same thing. A mastermind group is different. When you participate in a mastermind, you have the opportunity to offer alternatives, weigh ideas from the other participants. Napoleon Hill talks about Andrew Carnegie, who surrounded himself with about 50 men in his mastermind so that he had plenty of people to weigh in with their ideas.
Once I developed a clear mindset of the mastermind, I began to understand how my role as a coach shifts. Here’s how:
- My job is to build the mastermind. When I grow the mastermind, everyone in the group benefits.
- My job is to coach less and facilitate more. My role is to allow others to coach, challenge, and innovate.
- My mindset requires me to stay coach-like without behaving like a coach.
Please react. I’ve you’ve been in a mastermind, what made it different for you?