Making Mastermind Groups More Meaningful


Do we really need any more online courses? 

As I continue to reassess everything in my business I find myself feeling totally uninspired about offering online courses. Everywhere I look I see evidence of the fact that my audience does not require more 'information'.

What they need is loving accountability and support to implement what they already know. 

The best way to offer this support is through one-on-one coaching, the second best way I believe that I can really help people is through a small group mastermind. 

BTW, there are many definitions about what a 'mastermind' actually is. For me it's a small group of likeminded people who meet regularly for support, accountability and to collaborate. 

So before I go marching off to create my next new thing based solely on what I think, feel or intuit ... I want to learn about what others have experienced in group coaching and mastermind programs. I want to shed light on what has worked well for them, and what has not. 

Here's a summary of my key findings ...

What has worked well:

  • Facilitator keeping conversation focused and not allowing one person to take up too much time.
  • There is noticeable rapport and respect between group members.
  • Having accountability from the previous session.
  • Starting the session with positive uplifting things.
  • Feeling part of a bigger purpose or cause.
  • Having an accountability buddy.
  • Receiving the agenda before the meeting commences

What hasn’t worked well:

  • Group is too big which means the call takes longer and it's harder to receive individual help
  • Not having equal air time for all participants.
  • No accountability within the group.
  • Lack of structure.
  • Leaders lack of business experience meant my questions weren’t really answered in relation to getting my next step clarified.
  • Group leader not being aware of where everyone is up to.
  • Group  members being at different levels of development which results in members giving advice and not receiving any.
  • Lack of commitment from other members (i.e. they don't turn up to the live call and opt to watch the recording).
  • Lack of opportunity for members to share their wisdom and collaborate.

Recommendations for making masterminds more meaningful:

  • Replicate one-on-one coaching as much as possible.
  • Keep groups small at about 10 members. 
  • Ask members to commit to attending every session (just as they would with one-on-one coaching) and do not offer a recording. 
  • Have a session structure that allows each member to share a brief update in the first 15-minutes of the call.
  • Gather the groups support needs and identify commonalities and themes so that several members needs can be addressed at once (rather than spending half an hour on one person's issue). 
  • Any structure needs to allow other members to share their thoughts, ideas and wisdom with other members, rather than the coach or facilitator being hailed as having all the answers. 
  • Have each member be responsible for proposing ways that the group can work collaboratively and/or as a unit in the marketplace rather than always being a silo-preneur (a 'silo' is an independent structure).
  • Record what members want to be accountable for and review this at each session. 

This all seems fairly obvious I know but they are things that have been absent from mastermind groups that these women have experienced. 

I'd love you to contribute to these findings too!

If you have some things to share about what has worked, what hasn't and what you'd like to see in a mastermind group then please share your thoughts in the comments below. 


Danielle Gardner
Business & Marketing Mentor

P.S. I've taken these findings and mixed them in with some #DaniMagic to create The Inner Circle, check it out and let me know what you think!