Putting several minds together to discuss a problem often yields solutions that far outweigh what any one could have come up with on their own. This is the proverbial “one plus one is greater than two” effect and one of the major reasons why people decide to join a Mastermind group.
But did you know that this is but one in a very long list of possible benefits bestowed on participants who join a well-run Mastermind group?
In fact, we have uncovered a whopping 27 life-changing benefits that could be yours if you decide to join a Mastermind group.
The various benefits are described in many accounts of attendees and facilitators of Masterminds and quite a few such reports and lists can be found all over the internet. I have below compiled a list of the ones that got mentioned most often as well as added a few of my own.
Whilst many of them overlap, I still included them all and expanded on each with a short paragraph, as I feel that each one exposes another nuance of what a Mastermind group is about.
Once one delves a bit deeper it becomes uncanny just how far reaching in one’s professional and personal life the membership of such a group can be and how many facets of human behaviour it touches – it even extends to psychological and physical health…
1. Be Part of an Exclusive Community
Let’s face it, everybody of us yearns for a sense of belonging and we would like to know that our presence in a group adds value. The nature and setup as small, selected groups of individuals with a common goal gives Mastermind groups an air of exclusivity.
But if this is so exclusive, how can I as an average person join one? Luckily the Mastermind concept is gaining world-wide traction and with a bit of searching on the internet you will find groups for a wide variety of "specialties" - from shared business interests, professional development, personal and spiritual growth to such practical topics as groups for first-time mothers or for expats in a certain country.
2. A Sense of Shared Endeavour – There Are Others out There
Mastermind groups by their very nature are groupings of like-minded individuals. Especially for entrepreneurs and professionals in smaller organisations, isolation is a fact of daily life and Mastermind groups can overcome much of this lonely feeling.
3. An Instant and Valuable Support Network
A successful Mastermind group does become much more than a group of people that only meet at predetermined times and morphs much more into a support group and often circle of friends where members communicate whenever they are in need of some advice.
Mastermind Groups are all about two-way communication and exchange of ideas and advice and as all members do commit to doing their part, this makes for a great exchange of ideas and working together.
5. Think Bigger
If different opinions come together it is inevitable that the views and opinions of the individual get augmented. Over time these individuals also tend to open up more, challenge themselves and generally start to broaden their own thought processes.
Due to the fact that Mastermind group attendees are carefully selected, it is easy to get a great amount of synergy.
7. New Perspectives
The combination of different attendees, each with their own experiences and input will inevitably lead attendees to look at their own situation with new eyes.
8. Get Honest Feedback, Advice and Brainstorming
The nature and setup of Mastermind groups is such that individual members do bring issues they grapple with to the group and these issues then get addressed by all attendees. The intimacy of the group makes it possible to open up and not hold back, leading to very honest responses, something that is often not easy to get in everyday life and especially in businesses where different agendas and insecurities do lead to very cautious feedback.
9. Receive Critical Insights into Yourself
The feedback one gets in a Mastermind group does transcend just the business ideas and issues that get discussed and extends to the own Self. Whist initially scary to many, it is also very liberating to review the Self in a safe environment and get impartial input.
10. Get a Second,3rd, 4th… Opinion
Another benefit of the captive audience is to be able to bounce off own ideas and plans and get critical evaluation, eliminating own blind spots.
11. Tap into the experience and skills of others
Whilst participants are selected for their synergies, everybody inevitably comes from a different background and has different strengths and experiences. A Mastermind group allows the members to leverage off each other.
12. New learning
The diversity of experience and expertise, combined with an honest sharing and discussion of issues inevitably leads to new learning – both for the person who shares their issues and also the rest of the group. It is reported time and again that the “bystanders” often learn the most as they would usually never have thought about the issue that is being discussed.
13. Specific Knowledge
When discussing a particular topic it is very probable that one of the members will either have some knowledge on that subject or at least know whom to ask or where to find someone who can assist. The communal knowledge inevitably grows.
14. Extend Your Network
Members of a Mastermind group all come with their own networks and over time they will usually share acquaintances as necessary. Every participant thus has a greatly extended personal network and will be able to get introductions to many people they would otherwise never have had access to.
As with personal networks, every participant of a mastermind group will also have access to many resources that could benefit the entire group. If one can leverage these resources for the benefit of the group, the result often is even more augmented and the outcome becomes greater than the sum of the parts.
16. Growth - Sharpen Your Business and Personal Skills
Leveraged and facilitated correctly, a Mastermind group can greatly accelerate the growth of each of the individual members – both on a personal and on a professional level.
I have seen it time and again how members of a Mastermind group are developing a huge amount of new energy just by virtue of being part of a Mastermind group and getting all this awesome input. Once more this definitely has to do with the human nature of functioning best in a small, tightly knit group.
18. Boost Your Everyday Mental Health
Related to, but not the same as additional energy, the general positivity of a well-run Mastermind group does transcend the time the group is together and leads to an overall improved mental state of the attendees. This can even be medically explained: Being around people you are comfortable with as well as achieving goals does stimulate some of the so-called Feel Good or Happy Hormones. So being part of a Mastermind group actually does improve your mental and physical health…
19. Gain Confidence in Your Decision-Making Abilities
Getting positive feedback, being able to bounce off questions and brainstorming answers inevitably leads to better decisions and subsequently greater confidence and ultimately a positive feedback loop.
20. Add to Your Own Experiences
As mentioned above, every member of the group does bring his or her own experiences and over time will share many of them. Engaging with others and constructively working on your own problems as well as questions of others does broaden the horizon and experience level of each participant.
21. Talk Through Problems
If problems are tackled head-on and talked through, they often immediately seem smaller. The German language has a saying “ Geteiltes Leid ist halbes Leid” which can be loosely translated to “shared problems are only half as big”. The logic behind this is that verbalising a problem makes it more tangible and easier to dissect into its constituents. This again makes it easier to find the core of the problem, whilst stripping away a lot of the unnecessary baggage that surrounds it and makes it look bigger than it needs to be.
22. Design Things to Be the Way You Want Them to Be, Not as You’ve Been Told They “Should” Be
Once more, deliberating any topic does open up new ways of looking at it and (re-)constituting the parts to fit your need. No longer are you the slave of your surroundings and your circumstances, but you can get into control.
23. Find Inspiration and Answers
This point has already been made in many of the above benefit descriptions and also the base definition of the Mastermind group itself. I just include it here for people who just scan this list by reading the bold text only.
24. Leverage the Explainer Effect
When you have to explain a problem to someone else, often, the solution becomes evident to you as you are explaining the problem.
There are two interrelated facets to this point:
- By explaining a problem you take it apart and examine it in detail, peeling away layers that maybe confounded you. You will also make new connections and improve your understanding of the problem.
- Let me explain the second facet with an example: I am a member of a Mountain Rescue team and there we actually require of the senior members to present training on complex systems and topics as part of their own training regime, as it has been shown that you can only explain something to others if you did grapple with it and really understand the parts and how they do fit together.
25. Increase Follow-Through
Here we now move solidly into the realm of human behavioural studies. There are three levels of commitment that have been identified:
- mental – just thinking about it and promising something to yourself
- made in writing – you do not even have to show it to someone, just the simple act of writing something down and committing it to paper greatly increases the likelihood of you actually following through
- made by telling others – by far the greatest level of commitment is made when people tell others of their plans and goals.
If you would want to read up more on this, a good starting point will be Idiot’s Guides: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
26. Accountability and Real Progress in Your Business and Personal Life
Directly following from the previous point and augmenting it is the practice in Mastermind groups of not only letting you express your commitments, but actively engaging with them by means of debating and crystallising them on the one hand and then holding you accountable for fulfilling your plans and goals on the other hand.
27. Establish New Habits
Ultimately a lot of your progress will be determined by the formation of new habits. Experience comes with practice and repetition and only by eliminating or at least reducing old habits, and replacing them with a "new normal", can you personally and professionally grow.
As can be seen this list is quite extensive and in my mind one of the cornerstones of the worldwide success and increase in popularity of Mastermind groups.
The harmony with the human psyche also explains why this type of social construct can be found naturally in all societies around the globe. All the Mastermind groups do is to harness the benefits and try to minimise the risks.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
I strongly believe that if you want to be successful, you should at least consider becoming part of a Mastermind group of sorts to accelerate your professional and personal development.
We at Xuviate have decided to specifically focus on the worldwide community of SME IT Leaders and facilitate BTM Matermind Groups. I would like you to, have a look at what we are doing and engage with us on this topic by commenting below or contacting us directly.