The Secret Becoming 6x More Likely to Be Promoted: Mastermind Mentoring
Women with mentors get promoted five times more than those without mentors. And for those women who become a mentor to other people, the rate goes up to six times.*
But a good mentor is hard to find. And finding a match in a mentoring program can be tedious. The fastest way to get mentored and be a mentor is to join a good leadership mastermind group. This process of “co-mentoring” is the secret to getting the appreciation and pay increase which you long for and deserve.
Is There a Mastermind Group in Your Future?
The top reason for joining a mastermind group is connecting with high-achievers, according to my annual client survey. What better group could there be for mentoring? A well-facilitated peer group means you can lean into uncertainty and network for new opportunities.
If the thought of joining a new group feels intimidating or even a waste of time, you probably have legitimate concerns. It may be challenging to find a group that is the right fit for your budget, goals, or your values.
But with so many benefits it’s worth the leap.
Ten executives, mastermind facilitators, and business founders share their experience about how to get the most out of co-mentoring and your next mastermind group.
1. Focus on Adding Value
The key to a dynamic discussion is this: you get what you give.
What deepens a conversation–what makes it powerful–is often when participants not only listen or observe, but self-disclose.
Come prepared to show up and contribute. Without preparation or substantive contributions, you may find the experience to be shallow or unfulfilling.
“Don’t let contributing intimidate you. Adding value doesn’t mean you have to be an expert or that the process needs to be contrived, it can be spontaneous and organic, starting from almost anywhere–a book or tweet. Talking about your experiences in relation to a topic is a great way of creating relevant connections. Each of our perspectives is unique and has inherent value.
After 6 years of facilitating massive online social media discussions, it never fails to amaze me how diverse people’s opinions can be and how much you can learn from these differing perspectives.”
2. Know Your Why
Know why you’re coming to the group.
In addition to wanting to get promoted, the women in my groups focus on growing self respect and trusting their intuition (the antidote to burnout and lack of confidence).
Knowing what you want from the group and why it matters is a good place to start developing your superpowers and meaningful boundaries. Your answer to, “Why” is what will create meaning as you make the leap to the next level in your career or business.
3. Focus on Commitment
When women are truly committed to go through the process, they absorb the shared information more easily. They also contribute to the collective intelligence we create together. The ladies who are involved in conversations, and in sharing value and understanding, are the ones who become celebrated experts.
4. Members Matter
A mastermind group is only as good as its people—choose your partners carefully. It must be a win-win experience. Anyone in your mastermind group should not only be able to provide you with insightful feedback and advice but should also be able to benefit from your feedback.
5. Set a SMART Goal to Share at Every Meeting
You will get out of the group what you put into it.
Don’t rely on someone else to create your result. Before each meeting, prepare a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Results-oriented, Timely) goal. Then ask the group to hold you accountable for achieving it.
“Find a new job,” is not a SMART goal. This one is: “Have a conversation with 5 senior leaders in Miami tech companies, each week.”
Likewise, make your requests and questions specific. “Can you help me find a job as a CFO?” is not as powerful as, “Who do you know in a biotech company that I can talk with about their financial leadership team?”
6. Commit to Confidentiality
Good mastermind groups are built on trust, creating a safe space to be vulnerable. Make sure your group has clear boundaries around confidentiality and nondisclosure.
It’s important to be able to speak freely in a group and not worry about someone stealing your idea or lead. Confidentiality is important and should be respected by each one of the members. The better groups put it in writing.
7. Go For Equal Air Time: Avoid Gurus and Celebrities
Look for a group that gives time for each member to speak at every meeting.
Find out how each group is led and by whom. Celebrity coaches often turn things over to junior staff or contractors. Skilled facilitation is required to keep egos and interruptions under control. And it can take strong guidance to turn discussion into an action plan.
Ask what the format will be and how much time is given to brainstorming or round table discussion.
Presentations can be a good way to spotlight members and hone speaking skills in a safe environment. But that’s technically not a mastermind – which is intended to be high-level brainstorming. Lectures and presentations are actually masterclasses.
Masterminding is ultimately about relationships not training. Collaborating is invaluable.
8. Be a Bridge in the Divide
As a white woman or a woman of color, you know how to move in different worlds.
You understand the challenges, you’ve lived the wage gap, and you know how to gain a foothold as the only woman in the room. Bridging the divide requires a great deal of this boundary spanning.
Ethnic minorities and women tend to travel across epistemic communities as well as communities of practice and professional associations and in doing so they learn new things that are traditionally not a part of their work settings.
It has been well documented that these kinds of activities lead to the creation of key innovation processes. By creating new networks of knowledge across disciplines as well as demographic groups–these practices are critical contributions to innovation capabilities.
With these intentional efforts, you can move people from different worlds together. The planet needs these types of multicultural and multiracial learning partnerships and professional allies now more than ever. Be a bridge.
Anna Duran, Avatar Research Institute, @ThinkAvatarRI
9. Listen to Your Inner Voice
Do you trust your gut?
Improving your intuition in the safe space of a mastermind group is an excellent way to expand your abilities and decision making which primes you for promotion.
“Power is the ability to connect to things that make you feel alive. If you’re not listening to your inner guidance, you may be allowing fear to steer you. When you’re driven by fear, you’re unlikely to discover the power and purpose you want in your career.”
10. Follow an Agreed Upon Format
A set structure for sharing works best for running a powerful mastermind. Here is the one that I follow for my groups:
Each person will share the following:
- My Wins from the last (week/month) are – up to 3 (1 minute each)
- My Intentions for the upcoming week/month) are – list up to 3 (2 minutes each)
- Where I need support is _____________ (1 minute each)
This is followed by general discussion – issues, ideas, challenges. You may also wish to choose an area of the training to review for up to 30 minutes.
You now have 10 ways to benefit from a mastermind group and get promoted. Ask yourself: What would you gain if you spent a few hours once a month to receive these benefits?