I have often referenced the power of mentoring and the value of assembling a wise team to help you reach your goals as a woman business leader. Here are some valuable tips on creating a focused “mastermind” or peer mentoring group I’ve gathered from Catherine Rocheleau’s article to help steer your business towards success:
Create a strong relationship
Once you have identified the influencers and mentors you’d like to include in your group, ask each member to commit to the relationship for a period of time, says Catherine. This will help solidify your group’s success as a team and will help build a strong support system.
Establish the format
Catherine notes that there are drawbacks to each type of meeting. Whether you choose to convene via conference call, Skype, in person or the like, make sure everyone is on board and that the time and place is convenient for all. Setting a schedule in advance will increase you chances of participation as well.
There may be strong personalities in your group, says Catherine, so be mindful not to let the meetings become about one person. Establish boundaries for attendance, level of business experience, number of members, ground rules for accepting new members and speaker time limits.
Create a safe environment
Whether you own your own business or are a leader within a business, you are in a unique position. What you say in your group is of a confidential nature, says Catherine, and all members must respect that. Your group is there to support you and each member must feel safe when discussing sensitive issues. Says Catherine, “What’s shared in the group, stays in the group.”
Remember why you assembled your group in the first place and keep your ultimate goal in mind. If growing your business and learning from others in your group was your goal, says Catherine, you should also determine a way to measure how well you are doing. Establish benchmarks to help you stay on course, and regularly ask for feedback from your group.
According to Catherine, the purpose of a mastermind group is to help you speed your progress and enhance your ability to grow and develop your business. I know that I have benefitted from the advice of mentors throughout my career, and I highly recommend it. Here are a few of my favorite blogs on mentoring and growing your business: “Women Business Leaders Reveal 7 Secret Ingredients for Women to Grow their Business,” and “8 Mentoring Dos and Don’ts for Women Business Leaders.”