How to Get the Most From Being in the Mastermind Hotseat

So it’s your turn to have your Mastermind’s attention and expertise. You are in the hot seat!

How do you frame your topic so you get the most out of your experience?

I’ve been a part of many hot seat discussions and it’s a bit frustrating when the person in the hot seat goes on a rambly explanation for 5-10 minutes on their topic. They try to share (or show) you what they are working on, and you aren’t sure which part of their explanation is important and which part is just ancillary details.

To make sure you don’t get lost in the rambling jungle of words, prepare for your hotseat moment by doing some thinking work beforehand:

1. Identify a topic you would like feedback on.

What topic could you gain the most from if you had a panel of advisors helping you? Brainstorm your options, if needed, and choose the one that is the most pressing for you right now.

Here are some ideas:

  • A decision you need to make

  • Pricing for a product or service

  • Branding - name / color / logo choice

  • A need for accountability

  • A work situation

  • Interpersonal difficulties

  • A connection you would like to make


2. Get Clarity on exactly what you want to know.

Don’t wait to process your thoughts at the meeting. Think through your topic in advance and condense your thoughts down to 1 question you’d like an answer to.

After you ask your question, you can tell the ‘back story’.  Consider sharing the history of what’s happened so far, where you are stuck, what your thoughts are around this subject, what you’ve already tried, and how this situation relates to your goals.

Presenting your topic in this way allows the other members to not get sidetracked by the multiple possible directions your conversation could take us and really focus on your 1 primary question.


3. Write down your 1 question, and if forethought is necessary, email the group to present your topic a day or two before the meeting.

Most topics don’t need to be sent out early, but consider this in case it would be helpful. In addition, be prepared to take notes, and take the necessary steps to ensure you arrive early for this meeting. The last thing you want crowding your mind on this day is guilt for running late, worries about forgetting something, etc.


4. Remain open-minded and curious.

Being in the hotseat can sometimes be a humbling experience.

Hearing how others view what you’ve worked on may be in opposition to your initial way of thinking. Set an intention to set your personal feelings aside for the hour and just listen curiously to the feedback given. If you find yourself getting defensive, take a deep breath and explain what you’re feeling. Own the feelings, and remind yourself that everyone is there to support you and help you succeed.

Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.
— Brene Brown


5. Ask questions.

If someone’s feedback doesn’t make sense, don’t be afraid to ask questions to clarify.