There are many different ways to make a connection with others.

My preferred way to truly connect with others is through joining a Mastermind group.

A Mastermind Group is a planned gathering of goal-oriented people, who come together to learn from each other and help each other to have a larger perspective and grow bigger than they could do on their own.

These groups have been called a “synergy of energy, motivation, and commitment.”

The concept of Mastermind Groups was first introduced by Napoleon Hill. In his book Think and Grow Rich (1937)

Hill defined the “Master Mind” as a “coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

He had surveyed hundreds of the most successful people in the world, including many conversations with the highly successful businessman Andrew Carnegie, who attributed his entire fortune and success to his mastermind group.

If you have been thinking about forming a Mastermind group…or simply a study group…you could create it around a common theme, such as:

*Brainstorming Support

*Accountability Support

*Business Strategy Support

* Improving Personal Skills Support

For a Mastermind group to sustain success, it must be built on 3 important foundational principles:

Consistency: For a Mastermind to work most effectively, the element of trust is essential.  And for trust to exist among all participants, then an equal commitment to consistent participation is required from each person.

Confidentiality: To maintain trust among members, then it is also a requirement for information shared to be kept secret within the group.  Sharing goals, thoughts and ideas often requires a certain level of courage. Knowing that the secrets revealed in the group will be held in confidence, makes it easier to find the courage to share.

Contribution:  Since everyone in the Mastermind (including the organizer) is an equal member, the success of the group is dependent upon the willingness of all the participants to engage with each other. A Mastermind or study group is not the place for someone who wants to do all the talking. It is also not the place for someone who just wants to sit in the corner and take information from others.

With these 3 foundational principles in place, Napoleon Hill explains how to build on them:

And here are a few tips to keep in mind as you follow his guidance:

1 Be sure you feel comfortable the members.

When it comes to mastermind groups, deciding which one to join or who to invite to yours (if you decide to host one yourself), is the most important choice you can make. Remember, you may be participating with these same people for months or even years to come.

You will have to trust these people with intimate details about your life and your business.  Be sure you can relate to them on a personal and professional level, too.

Can you see yourself being friends, or at least spending non-work time with the members of this group? If you don’t have similar interests, passions, hobbies or experiences, you’re not going to enjoy meeting with them consistently.

It is also important for the members to all have similar levels of life and business experience…so that everyone gets the benefit of the same level of support.

2. Set Ground Rules Immediately.

If you are the organizer, here are a few questions to consider as you set the ground rules that everyone must observe. 

If you are a participant in a Mastermind group, then be sure the organizer has set ground rules and you feel you can agree to them.

Here are a few questions to help you set ground rules:

>How often will you meet as a group?

>Which day of the week or month? What time?

>How long is each meeting?

>Is there a limit to how many members can join the group?

>When and how are new members added to the group?

> What are the criteria for evaluating new members?

Be sure to assign someone to be responsible for reviewing the Ground Rules with each new member.  It is important for each member to sign a copy of the Ground Rules so there is a strong agreement between members.

3 Have a Clear Agenda & Structure for Each Meeting.

Boundaries represent awareness, knowing what the limits are and then respecting those limits. ― David W. Earle

It’s essential to have a meeting structure to keep the mission of the group on track. There’s nothing worse than wandering aimlessly from conversation to conversation without any clear boundaries around what should be discussed and when.

You could start with 3 minutes of informal chit-chat to give everyone a chance to get settled.

Then assign a length of time for each person to make their request for support and to receive ideas from the other members.

Or, each week you could take a deep-dive into a specific challenge that one member is having and offer up actionable potential solutions for twenty to thirty minutes.

And the wrap-up could be an open forum leading to a decision on the date & time for the next session.

4 Decide Upon a Group Leader.

Each Mastermind must have an organizer or leader.  It could be the same person each time…or members could take their turn of being a leader for a month.

The leader is responsible for keeping sessions on track, scheduling the next meeting before wrapping up the current one, sending around a brief agenda before each session, and recapping notes with everyone’s goals afterward.

5 Share and Support Equally.

As mentioned above, it is very important that every member gives as much as they ask from the others in the group. While one purpose of joining a Mastermind group is to get ideas for how to overcome challenges in your own business, it’s just as much about stepping back and selflessly helping others accomplish their goals.

It may take some time for your Mastermind to run smoothly. Using these principles to structure your group will significantly help keep everyone engaged, feel they are receiving benefits, and maintain consistent value.
Stacey Hall

I love helping network marketers who are frustrated they are not making a difference fast enough.  I help them attract their ideal audience, grow their teams, increase their income, and leave a legacy that lives on long after they are gone.

The result is an abundance of Sales, Satisfaction and Success!

Stacey Hall is the Executive Producer of “The Power of Yes” book series, an uplifting and motivating compilation of stories written by network marketers for network marketers. #1 in 4 Countries and available globally wherever books are sold.
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