THE POWER OF GROUP THINKING
If you’re going to do something great, the wisdom of like-minded individuals can be a game-changer.
Maybe you’ve decided to launch a business or a side hustle and could do with some support. Or you’re already well underway but struggling to keep up the momentum and take big decisions on your own. Making big things happen can be tough on your own. Joining or creating a Mastermind Group can make a huge difference.
Says Hela Wozniak-Kay, founder of The Magic Circle for women in business: “Mastermind Groups fuel giant thinking. You instantly become way smarter by drawing on the collective grey matter and camaraderie of peers. They become a catalyst for growth and accountability, so you can make your business a success”.
So what the heck is a Mastermind Group? Nothing to do with sitting in a big black leather chair and answering questions about Gothic architecture. It’s a collection of people who meet regularly to share their goals and discuss challenges and next steps. Members act as catalysts for growth, devil’s advocates and supportive colleagues.
The concept was formally introduced by Napoleon Hill in the early 1900s in his book, “Think And Grow Rich” who described it as: “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people who work toward a definite purpose in the spirit of harmony. No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.”
“It’s a bit like having your own board of directors and you quickly gain powerful insights”
I have experienced this ‘third mind’ effect myself, joining a mastermind group run by business psychologist Paula Gardner. Before I even knew what shape Audrey would take, the collective brain power of this group of supportive and clever women enhanced my planning and strategy by miles. Things moved fast and it was totally galvanising. From creative but unfocused thinking on my own, I found myself in a group whose collective energy was formidable and the ideas and decisions came easily.
What really worked was the accountability factor. Setting individual tasks and goals at every meeting and then showing up a month later, you really want to be able to say you’ve achieved them, or even exceeded them. But also know that if you fail to do so, your group will offer lots of practical advice and support on how to overcome the obstacles holding you back. More than anything else, it’s joyful to share your plans with likeminded people and get their feedback and encouragement.
It’s a bit like having your own board of directors and you quickly gain powerful insights which can be game-changing. This is why it’s vital to discuss and guarantee confidentiality from the outset to give all members peace of mind that all conversations and ideas shared will remain private.
The Benefits of a Mastermind Group
* Solutions which come from brainstorming with the group.
* An intimate & supercharged ecosystem that ignites new ideas, different points of view, foresight and insight.
* The chance to tap into the experience and skills of others.
* The confidence that you’re making good and considered decisions.
* Accountability to the rest of the group
* A support network that you can access at difficult times
* A sense of shared endeavour – you are not alone.
* A boost to your mental attitude.
* Something to look forward to each week – a bonus if you work alone.
* The camaraderie that comes with sharing goals and achieving them, step-by-step.
Audrey co-founder and business strategy advisor Faye Watts runs an online Hub Club for business owners, with monthly interactive group sessions: “There is a lot of power in uniting people to help each other work towards their goals and dreams. It increases motivation and focus and encourages an ongoing accountability framework. When we are supported by others, even strangers, we can achieve great things”.
If you want to set up your own group, limit it to three people per group. “Many mastermind groups have eight or ten people, but three is the ideal number,” says Hela. “You delve deeper with your accountability BFFs and feed each other so you make things happen”.
Ideally you need one person in charge or things can soon go awry. “The chemistry of the group is what keeps it going and the energy of the leader or facilitator is what will keep the beat,” says Hela. “It’s very easy for the group to tail off without someone driving it forwards. And taking it in turns doesn’t tend to work, so assign that role to the person who’s most comfortable being in charge”.
Hela is also co-founder of Sister Snog, the awesome women’s business tribe, so the added benefits of working with her, like with Faye, are business, marketing and branding advice as well as connections.
“I’ve called my Mastermind Group system The Magic Circle because it’s about business alchemy. And with three in each group, I make sure the magic between them is key, so they fire each other and gel properly. As facilitator I bring out the insight between them and the ideas that come out are mind-blowing. But it has to be women who are genuinely committed to their goal and the group”.
Mastermind groups really work, and this is why we’re launching our own via the Audrey Restart Club in the coming months. Sign up now to be the first to benefit from the collective brain power of likeminded women on a mission. Or start your own group via Lean In Circles at leanin.org, inspired by Cheryl Sandberg’s famous book.
Says Hela: “Joining a Mastermind Group is one way to mind-stretch your way beyond perceived boundaries because it’s what happens when amazing people doing amazing things collaborate and cross-pollinate. Your energy, inspiration and creativity rock to new levels and you get clarity and focus. It’s really quite exciting what can happen when you’re in a micro-tribe”.
Words: Marina Gask
Click here to sign up to the Audrey Restart Club