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Mastermind or Masterclass? These are the differences and how you can use the methods for your career
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Mastermind or Masterclass? These are the differences and how you can use the methods for your career

Nicole Hobiger-Klimes
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How do you look for inspiration? Do you get new ideas when you’re out on your jogging route or when you feel the sun on your face and breathe in the fresh air as you go for a walk? But maybe it also inspires you to be in contact with other people – when you talk about your goals, plans and dreams, encourage each other and give each other inspiration.

Two tools for personal and professional development are masterminds and masterclasses. They sound similar, but are completely different in their orientation. To find out which format might suit you, let’s first take a closer look at the two terms.

Growing together: how a mastermind works

A mastermind is a group of people who want to grow together. The Mastermind Group fits perfectly into our time because it offers genuine exchange at eye level and depth . While our appointments are often virtual, everything has to happen as quickly as possible and we use messenger services in between, a mastermind allows us to deal intensively with individual questions.

Like-minded people meet at regular intervals to give each other space for their thoughts and business ideas. What moves you? Where is the problem right now? Do you want to revamp your website or launch a new product on the market? They give you honest feedback and, in the best case, valuable impulses.

The math is very simple: If each person has around 150 contacts, that’s 1,200 for 8 people working together in a mastermind group, for example. You benefit directly from the experience and recommendations of others.

Excursus: A study published by Harvard University in 2023 followed people from different generations for more than 80 years. She was looking for answers to the question: What does happiness mean? The result: the most important factor for happiness is social relationships. This can also be applied to our professional lives: we are social beings – we can be successful and happy in the long term by learning together.

Masterful? Insight into the Masterclass

The term master class originally comes from music. These are courses in which renowned artists pass on their knowledge and instrumental skills to students. Today, however, the term is also often used in the marketing sector. It is usually a video or a video series in which a master or a female master takes center stage. This person has particular expertise in a specific topic – from leadership to business start-ups and mindfulness to interior design or acting. You can find a masterclass on almost any topic.

In the videos, the experts pass on their knowledge to interested pupils. The most famous “Masters” present themselves on the platform. Alicia Keys, Serena Williams, Metallica, Natalie Portman, Salman Rushdie and many more teach here.

What is the difference between Masterclass and Mastermind?

The main difference is that a masterclass is a presentation by a single person, whereas a mastermind is based on group dynamics. If you decide for or against one of these formats, you should ask yourself whether you prefer to learn new things in an exchange with other people or on your own. Nothing is better or worse, it’s all about your preference!

At a glance: Advantages and disadvantages of a mastermind

To decide which business method suits you better, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both formats in the next step. So what are the advantages of a mastermind group? 

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  • Swarm intelligence: Masterminds bring together people from different industries. Participants benefit from concentrated knowledge power and versatile expertise.
  • Cohesion: A mastermind group welds people together. It provides strength, self-confidence and motivation for courageous decisions – a true empowerment tool.
  • Focus: If we say a specific goal out loud in a group, we are even more motivated to achieve it.
  • Contacts: In a mastermind group, we have the opportunity to make contacts with people who will be with us in the long term. The community is there for each other!

Although masterminds can provide us with important input in numerous business situations, there are of course also some disadvantages:

  • Time commitment: The meetings of a mastermind group take place regularly and can sometimes be intensive – this takes time. They also involve preparation and follow-up work.
  • Limit: A mastermind is more suitable for the self-employed, entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. For example, mentoring is more suitable for permanent employees who want to fine-tune their next steps or plan their career.

Briefly summarized: Advantages and disadvantages of a masterclass

What about a master class? Here come the Advantages:

  • Quick information: Complex topics are presented by the masters in easy-to-understand videos. Added value for users.
  • Autonomy: There is no group that meets at regular intervals. You can decide on your own learning rhythm. Preparation and follow-up work is also not necessary.
  • Insight: We get the chance to “get a taste” of the working world of absolute experts. Not bad at all to learn Modern Middle Eastern Cooking from Yotam Ottolenghi.

And what are the disadvantages?

  • Lack of interaction: A master class is structured like a lecture. The master gives a lecture and we watch. There is no opportunity for questions or exchange with the Masters.
  • No Networking: A group brings together a wealth of experience – participants may have overcome challenges that we are currently facing. Networking and togetherness are no longer part of the Masterclass.

We all learn differently and seek inspiration in different ways. Masterminds and masterclasses are two of many possibilities for further development. When it comes to personal and professional growth, there is no one right way, only your individual path.

Click here for the next Mastermind with Nicole Hobiger-Klimes….

About the author

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Ing. Mag. Nicole Hobiger-Klimes ist Business & Entscheidungs-Coachin, Mastermind-Moderatorin, Unternehmensberaterin und Speakerin. Ihr Spezialgebiet als Botschafterin der Stille: Silence Retreats for busy people. Früher hat die ehemalige Kampfsportlerin für die UN-Botschafterin und Menschenrechtsaktivistin Waris Dirie gearbeitet. Persönlich ist sie eine Mischung aus einem in sich ruhenden fernöstlichen Mönch und einer lautstarken westlichen Visionärin und Unternehmerin: Eine Frau, die dem Kaffee abgeschworen hat, Vegetarierin ist und keinen Fernseher hat. In ihrer Arbeit erforscht sie Innenschau, Visualisierungen/Deep Work und Selbstführung als Erfolgsfaktoren.

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