Mastermind Group Format: Accountability

mastermind group format accountability

Mastermind Group Format: Accountability

This is the second part in our series about Mastermind Group formats.  If you missed the first one about the Hot Seat Format for Mastermind Group feel free to check it out before continuing below.  In this series we are going over different formats for mastermind group meetings.  This week we will be going over the accountability format.

Accountability Format

The accountability format, if done by itself (not mixed with other formats), tends to be one of the fastest formats for a mastermind meeting.  If you have a mastermind group, but the members only have 1 hour every few weeks  to meet, then this is the format I would recommend.

The basic premise of the accountability mastermind group is to commit to completing certain tasks for each meeting publicly to the group.   There is actually a lot of science behind this practice.  According to the American Society of Training and Development you can increase the likelihood of completing a task by 65% if you share it with someone.   And better yet, if you share it with someone and have a specific date where you will meet with them to give them a progress report, the chance of success goes up by 95%.

Want to be 95% more likely to do what you set out to do?  Share the commitment with somebody and then set a date to meet with that person to tell them you have done it.

So now that you know the science, how does an accountability mastermind group actually work?  The format for each member is pretty simple.  If this is your first meeting, then all you need to do is to have 1-10 commitments that you want to complete by your next meeting.  I know, that is a wide range, but bear with me.   The exact number of goals depends on the amount of work required to complete each goal, and the time you have between each meeting.  If you are having your mastermind meetings every week, then I would recommend no more than 1-3 commitments between each meeting.  If you are only planning on meeting as a group once every month, you should have closer to 10 commitments.

When making a commitment, mark sure the commitment is S.M.A.R.T.

  1. Specific
    The commitment should be very specific and well defined.  If your goal is something general like “I will think about how to grow my business“, you will not work on it.  Make sure it is something like “I will launch my new website” or “I will write 500 words a day for my book“.
  2. Measurable
    The commitment needs to be something that can easily be measured or quantified.   This makes it possible to determine if you accomplished it, or not.  If your goal was to “work on my business plan” then it is too vague.  Working on a business plan can be anything from thinking about your business on the bus, to writing 100 pages with specific data.  If you make your goal “having a fully polished business plan ready to present to a bank” then you will know if you accomplished it or not.
  3. Achievable
    Be realistic.  Make sure the goal you set for yourself is something that can realistically be achieved in the amount of time you have.  If there is only one week between your mastermind meetings setting a goal like “write a full software system to compete with Facebook” won’t be realistic, and worse you will probably get discouraged if week after week you have to show up to the meeting to tell people you did not do what you promised.  You know yourself and what you can do given your life circumstances and time available.
  4. Relevant
    Make sure the commitment will take you one step closer to your long-term goal.  If your goal is to open up a dogie-daycare center you don’t want to set the weekly goal of “watching entire season of The Throne on Netflix “.  Unless of course your dogie day care will be catering exclusively to corgis and British royalty… then it may be relevant.  Make sure whatever commitment you make moves the proverbial “needle” and takes you closer to your goal.
  5. Trust
    Trust in your group members.  I know this is easier said than done, and this one may takes some time to develop, but the mastermind group should be a safe space where you should feel comfortable sharing almost everything (with the possible exception of details on bowel movements).  It does not matter if the commitment you have may be a secret part of your business, or if your commitment is deeply personal.  You should trust enough in your mastermind group to share the commitment with them.  It will make it all the more likely you will complete it.

The format of the meeting is pretty simply.  Each person should have an assigned period of time to share all the commitments they have completed since the the last meeting, and all the ones they haven’t been able to complete.  They should then have time to make commitments for the next meeting.   Now there are two ways to structure this.  You can do it so that each person can go over their previous commitments and new ones in the same segment, or you can split the meeting up so that everybody give updates on previous commitments first and then you go through everybody again for a second round in which each person shares their commitment for the next meeting.   I, personally, prefer the latter option.  By splitting each section, every group member is able to focus on one thing at a time, and the additional benefit is that if a member was not able to meet a commitment on time it gives the group time to ask why and possibly give some feedback to help them complete it more quickly and effectively for the next meeting.

I recommend the total time allotted for each person to be no more than 20 minutes for both updating on previous commitments and sharing the future commitments.   This keeps the length of the meetings to a reasonable time (assuming your mastermind group is no more than 5-6 people) and keeps members from getting burned out by the end of the meeting.  If people take longer, then it is not always fair to the person who goes last since the other group members will be too exhausted by the end to really support them.

That’s it for the accountability format.  Like all the other formats it is important that there be an assigned secretary for the meeting so that good notes are taken and there can be a complete record of all commitments made.

Do you have a mastermind group that use these formats?  How is it working?  Or do you use another format?  Use comment section below or use the contact us page to let us know!

READ MORE:  Check out the next article in this series: Conference Format.

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