(As shared on Decoding Your Child Facebook post on 4 September 2019)
My sharing of our weekly mastermind sessions with our teens yesterday has generated some queries from parents on what mastermind sessions are and what they encompass. I would like to thank those parents for PM’ing me to ask. For the benefit of those who may have been too shy to ask, let me share a little more about our “Masterminds”.
Mastermind sessions are essentially mentoring sessions.
Part 1: Review
In terms of the structure of our Masterminds (and different groups can have different structures), we always begin with a REVIEW of the previous week.
Some typical questions we would ask are
1) What went well?
2) What could be done better?
3) What goals have been achieved?
4) What goals have not been achieved and why not?
5) What kind of support would have been helpful?
6) What lessons have been learnt?
We would celebrate successes mentioned in 1).
If there is guidance/teaching to be done based on the review, my husband or I would do a short teaching session. These usually pertain to mindsets, values, habits, systems, etc. For example highlighting the growth mindset my daughter had when she decided to enter into a race where her competitors were stronger than she was, or the willingness to learn exhibited by my son when his internship required him to learn new programming languages, or the strategies to combat procrastination, or the importance of being on time, etc.
Part 2: Looking Ahead
After our review, we’d plan for the upcoming week. Typical questions would include
A) What SMART goals to set? (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time Bound). Usu 3-4 goals per week.
B) How to achieve them?
C) Any extra support needed?
D) What activities/events are coming up?
As to what kind of goals the children should set depends on the children themselves. One of mine wants to be more physically fit, so the goals are more fitness oriented. Another loves the arts and sets goals to complete more work in those areas. Sometimes, they have projects to complete and would set goals that will push them towards the completion of those projects. Sometimes, I may find a child lacking in an area and urge that child to think about a goal that will help him/her grow in that area. Most times, my main role when it comes to their goal-setting is to ask them how they plan to achieve it and whether they need any extra support to complete it.
After goal setting, we would synchronise our calendars and lock down slots throughout the week to do family activities together. If the kids have specific requests on activities they would like to do together or foods they would like to eat, we would pen those down in our calendars. If they have a upcoming performance, we will be reminded to attend. That way, our family time is always pre-fixed.
After going through the calendar and factoring in all their activities, I’d disburse their allowance for the week. If they have excess savings from previous week(s), they’d pass to me to put in their banks. Usually, that’d be the time we talk a little about financial prudence and financial planning.
By the time our mastermind session is over, we would have learned what our children have done the previous week and what they have learned (if any ;p). If any corrective measure needs to be taken to prevent similar mistakes from happening, we would be able to identify them and make the necessary corrections. In addition, everyone is up to speed on the plans everyone has for the coming week. And we all begin the week with great clarity and purpose.
I hope this sharing on our Mastermind sessions is helpful to you. While I had thought Masterminds were more suitable for pre-teens and teens, my little 6-year-old has shown great interest in it. She wants to set goals and has been reviewing her goals throughout the week to ensure she meets all of them. She also wants to share her successes and the challenges she faced. And she most definitely wants to participate in the collection of allowance and counting of savings. So I guess as long as the child is keen, even a Primary 1 (First Grade) child can participate in a mastermind.
Do let me know if this is a process that will be helpful for you. Or if you have a different process, I’d love to hear from you!