For the past few years, and particularly in the past 12 months, many amazing teachers have appeared in my life and more often than not this has led to new
inspiration and opportunities. Something amazing really does happen when teachers support and empower each other. I’m
sure you’ve all seen that quote that goes “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This became particularly clear after
I started a Mastermind group with 5 other motivated and determined people. As this group has grown, so have the careers of the people in it. Basically, it’s like a group of friends getting together to help each other out, but the mastermind format gives
us a framework to focus that support.

For those of you who have never heard of Masterminding, here’s a simple definition that I really like. A Mastermind group can be described as “the coordination
of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”

Here are a few points about my group and what our meetings involve. This
is the information we share with every potential new member. This is sent in writing so that everyone in clear about what group is all about and the level of commitment that needs to be made.

Commitment and Accountability
One of the reasons that we have kept going is definitely our commitment to each other. That commitment has come in two forms: being there for each other when
we are needed, and accountability to do what needs to be done to keep moving forward. With more members in the group, showing up to every meeting is also going to be key to your success and the success of the group.

Generous Two-Way Sharing
This is what makes a mastermind group different from meeting with a friend or talking to your partner. When one member presents a problem, challenge or decision,
the entire group gets involved with generating ideas and solutions. All members are there to ask for help and give help in a full and balanced way and this is what makes for a successful meeting.

No Competitors no comparisons
It is such a great feeling to be able to share problems, dreams, failures, fears and celebrate successes. We don’t compare ourselves to the other or compete.
These thoughts only serve to derail us from creating the mindsets we need to achieve our goals.

Similar drive and attitude
We may have different goals and take different paths but what we have in common is a deep belief in our capacity and drive to excel in our chosen area. We
all know how important it is to surround yourself with people who are motivated and love what they do. A mastermind group should be exactly that: people who lead by example and inspire each other.

Different Skill Sets
It is impossible to be an expert at everything but by pooling our wisdom and resources we can get the benefit of what the rest of the group brings in experience,
ideas and intelligent questions. In an ideal group, members come from different backgrounds and have specialties which they share with others.

Before joining, you should sit down and make a list of what you expect to get from the group and in what ways you could contribute. This might be a skill
set, training, experience or even a personal quality that others will benefit from. Remember that these are not supposed to be a set of rules for you to follow but rather some inspiration for anyone who would like to start their own group.

If you like the sound of this, you might like to join me on May 5th. I’m co-running an event in Barcelona called “Celebrating Women in ELT: Reflect, Empower,
Act”. The 12 participants in this workshop will get a first-hand opportunity to experience masterminding and an invitation to join my online Leadership in ELT mastermind group.
Places are limited, tickets cost 60€ and include a discount on the main conference entry. For more information and how to buy contact: info@englishwithclaire.com

 

 

Claire Venables
Claire Venables spent a decade teaching in Europe where she obtained her diploma in TESOL through Trinity College, London. She has wide ranging experience as a teacher, teacher-trainer, materials writer and Director of Studies. However, her true passion is teaching English to very young learners. Since 2011 she has been creating and implementing immersion programmes for children in Espirito Santo, Brazil.