How Many Members Should Be in Mastermind Groups?

Posted by on Sep 15 2010

Getting the optimal number of mastermind group members is an important decision. I’ve been running mastermind groups for over 20 years and I’ve seen groups of all sizes.

There are some questions you need to ask yourself before deciding how many members should be in your mastermind group:

  1. How much total time is available at each meeting? Meetings need to have a begin and end time, and many meetings that run over 90 minutes can run out of steam without frequent breaks. Yet breaks also cause interruption of the energy levels. First decide how long each meeting will be, then go on to Question 2.
  2. How much time should each member get to be in the “hot seat” to talk about their problem, challenge or decision? Members need time to first verbalize their situation before masterminding can begin in earnest. Some members are quick and can sum it up in five minutes or less. Others need 10-15 minutes just to set the stage. THEN you need time to mastermind after that. We did an experiment in one of my mastermind group meetings recently: we had a non-timed meeting, just to see what would naturally occur. Thirty minutes per member was our average time for each hot seat.
  3. What other items are on your agenda? Remember that your meeting typically includes some sort of opening and closing, as well as possible guest speakers, training or other events. Allow time for those in your agenda, then plan accordingly.

In my mastermind groups, I tend to look for 5-8 members per group. Less than four and the energy level can drop (though I know several very successful mastermind groups with three members in them!), and more than eight members will probably cause you to run out of time. However, if you’re doing half-day or full-day meetings, you may be able to include more members.

Want to learn how to start a mastermind group? Click here to get my free video tutorial on how to start a mastermind group of your own.



5 comments for now

5 Responses to “How Many Members Should Be in Mastermind Groups?”

  1. Good article. These questions are definitely ones to ask yourself.

    16 Sep 2009 at 4:19 pm

  2. Very useful, concise post, Karyn. I have 4 members in my group, three women and a man (all Czech) and that number seems to work very well. Another point is that the more people there are in the group the more difficult it is to agree a time and a place that suits everyone.

    21 Sep 2009 at 11:26 pm

  3. Karyn Greenstreet

    I agree, Chris. A small group can make it easy for scheduling and gives you a good chance to get to know each other well. When I’ve done groups of 8, it was always with three hours per meeting (an afternoon), so it worked out well. But when time is shorter, you have to have less people, or you’ll always be rushing. 🙂


    22 Sep 2009 at 4:57 am

  4. Sandra

    I had a group with 3. One member kept taking long extended time away and would not arrange phone meetings so we dropped her. However the 2 person scenario was a bit odd and uneven. When the other person decided to take a hiatus that left me master minding with myself. Defeating the purpose of it all.

    11 Jul 2012 at 10:52 am

  5. Karyn Greenstreet

    Yes, committment is everything. Next time you form or join a group, make sure everyone commits to attend every meeting for a certain length of time (3 – 6 months is good). After that, they can decide if they want to continue. If they aren’t willing to commit to that level of attendance, don’t invite them into the group.

    11 Jul 2012 at 10:06 pm

Category: Start and Run a Mastermind Group