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  • Ian Gibbs

Learning Clubs vs Mastermind Groups

Updated: Jan 12


In the last 3 days, I’ve had people contact me about my "Mastermind groups".


This would be nice, if only I ran Mastermind Groups.


Unfortunately, I don’t.


I run Learning Clubs.


But I understand the confusion.


So I'm taking the opportunity here to explain and clarify the difference.


At first glance, the two things look similar.


Both happen when a number of people regularly get together to mutually help each other.


So far, so good.


But the reason why they get together and how they help each other is where the two concepts diverge.


A Mastermind group is to help members solve problems by members providing useful information that could solve the problem.


Thus a question at a Mastermind group could be “Can anyone recommend an accountant that speaks French?” or “Does anyone know a good website designer?”


In other words, a Mastermind group is a problem-solving tool.


A Learning Club is not for solving problems.


A Learning Club is to help its members personally develop. As its name suggests, this is done by helping its members learn new behaviours, skills and attitudes.


Thus, a Learning Club could be to support someone who’s learning French or wants to learn how to create their own website.


What isn’t obvious is that the greatest challenge people face when learning a new behaviour or skill is the resistance to stretching themselves out of their comfort zone.


For this reason, the support Learning Clubs provide is on more of an emotional level. This requires cultivating a level of trust and security that is not necessary in a Mastermind group.


For this reason, whereas a Mastermind group can consist of 10 people or more, Learning Clubs are more intimate consisting of four to six people maximum.


A Mastermind group could solve a member’s problem at a single meeting.


One of the benefits of a Learning Club is it provides continuity over a period of weeks or even months as members grow in confidence, skills and knowhow.


A Mastermind group provides information, ideas and brainstorming.


A Learning Club provides opportunity to focus, to help set short and long-term goals, it creates a safe space to challenge, to motivate, to celebrate (or commiserate) to help evaluate and provide feedback.


The focus of a Mastermind group is the problem being addressed.


The focus of a Learning Club is the individual who is in the process of improving themselves to grow into the person they want to be.


In my experience, Mastermind groups are a loose-knit collection of colleagues who attend as and when convenient.


Because of the trust and emotional support provided in a Learning Club, the friendships that are created are stronger and can last well after the Learning Club as ended. There is a greater requirement for all members to attend.


But the easiest way to understand how a Learning Club works is to start one. If you’d like more information, feel free to contact me  ian@iangibbs.me.

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