top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureCindy Copich

The Power of A "Master Mind" Team

It occurred to me recently just how powerful the intentional “having coffee” and “happy hour hang-out” meetings have been to my professional growth and career development. These meetings are beyond the typical networking opportunities and are specifically more targeted and purposeful. This post will outline why you might consider this option, how to start your own, and how to make these meetings lead to your professional growth or career development.

As I began a new business and changed the course of my career, I made a point of meeting and interviewing as many people as possible who were also working actively within the industry I was exploring. One of the best pieces of advice I was given was to form a “master mind” team. This is an informal group of people who may work in a similar industry or with specific professional expertise whom I already have a professional relationship with and respect. The advice was to meet with these individuals as a group regularly (usually once a month or every other month) to discuss ideas, receive valuable insight, and share expertise. This suggestion made me realize I had been doing this throughout my professional career without realizing it or doing it intentionally. However, with a little more planning and organization, I could elevate these opportunities to serve a larger purpose beyond maintaining relationships with former coworkers and connecting with friends I had met from various industries.


Why a Master Mind Team is Valuable

A “Master Mind Group” is loosely defined (by me!) as a group of people or individuals within your professional network that you meet with regularly to discuss new ideas and receive mutual counsel. Individuals offer mutual support and provide opportunities for shared celebration. Professional growth, career advancement, and work transitions can be personally and professionally challenging. This group is there to hold one another accountable, share experiences and expertise, and provide support and feedback. They serve as peer-coaches and professional collaborators that are invested in the success of one another, there to problem-solve the challenges and celebrate accomplishments. These professional supports can be even more essential in times of personal and professional transition.


Identify YOUR People

Spend some time reflecting on the individuals within your professional arena that you trust, respect, and enjoy being around but aren’t necessarily those you work with daily. They may be outside of your work industry or all reside within it. I find it valuable to meet with people from a various backgrounds and industries, many of which I have worked with in the past. I’ve reached the point in my career where I enjoy gathering input and suggestions and then sifting and sorting through the ideas offered to see how they might (or might not) fit me. Consider identifying people that also come to you for mutual advice. These are people that will be more motivated to make the “Master Mind Group” a routine part of their schedule. And as the name implies, come up with a title for this group so that it not only frames the conversations and the purpose but because it makes it more exciting and fun.


How to Start Your Own

Consider who you “go to” regularly for advice. Who do you call when you have a work-related idea or question? Or a person you have a relationship with outside your current work environment? Consider those outside your work role who may have a similar connection to your work industry. For example, I have very little knowledge of marketing and social media, but I know a few colleagues in this industry who I often go to with questions. Vet your list to narrow this group down to the 4-5 people you trust, who are not inclined to compete with one another. Competitors might be suitable for another purpose, but they can destroy trust quickly in a Master Mind Group. Also, consider personalities. Will these people get along? If any of these individuals require too much “care and feeding” or tend to dominate the conversation- scratch them off the list. Be thoughtful about who you choose to spend your time with and focus on those that energize you.


Once you have these individuals identified, decide if you should meet with all of them at one time in one large group OR individually. There are pros and cons to both. A large group may allow for fewer and more targeted meetings, but their effectiveness may depend on who is in the group and how easy it is to schedule with them. If you select this option, set aside a standard day and time every month so you don’t spend a lot of time coordinating schedules. Individual meetings with your Master Mind Group may take more time throughout the month, but they may be easier to schedule and provide the opportunity for more targeted feedback.

How to Make Your Time Together Valuable

Plan a specific purpose for your time together. You could use a Google doc to share this information in advance of your meeting, or you might add the topic to a calendar invite. For example, if I want feedback on a leadership concept, a business lead, or a presentation I have planned. I tell my Master Group members ahead of time, so they can think and reflect on the concept/idea/project before we meet. I encourage them to do the same. What I see happening when we meet is that these individuals provide better advice, but they also start sending me information they come across that might be helpful. This helps our face-to-face and virtual meeting time to be more effective.

Summary

Supportive relationships and professional networking are essential to our personal and professional growth. Chances are you already have members of your Master Mind Group within your professional and personal network that you haven’t taken the time to intentionally build into a regular part of your routine. Being more targeted about the purpose of these meetings can serve as an incredible opportunity for all of you to grow professionally. Find people you trust and rely on for advice and then offer them the same in return. To respect their time, be intentional about the advice you are seeking. Most importantly, express your gratitude and appreciation- recognize that success is never a solo endeavor.


Comments


bottom of page