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Building Bridges: The Power of Connections in Elevating Your Career

hr best practices hr department hr for small business team management team work Nov 13, 2023

When you run up against a challenge, what do you do? If you look at other like-minded individuals for counsel or recommendations, you’re not alone. But what about a similar situation in your role as an HR professional? You may find that there isn’t an individual within your organization you can turn to, especially if you’re an HR Department of One (HR DOO). For this reason, many seek mastermind groups and mentors to help them navigate the world of Human Resources.

What Is a Mastermind or Peer-to-Peer Advisory Group?

The idea of a mastermind group was developed by Napoleon Hill in his books The Law of Success (1928) and Think and Grow Rich (1937). At the time, he called it a master mind alliance and defined it as “the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work towards a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.” This idea, of course, wasn’t new and people have been collaborating and working together since the beginning of time. But Hill is credited with popularizing the idea and urging those seeking success to find others with whom they can work together.

In essence, a mastermind group is a group of individuals of any size who meet regularly to support one another through discussions of goals, successes, and challenges. These meetings can happen in person or virtually, but they are formal in the sense that they are regularly scheduled, typically have agendas, and are run by a facilitator who can keep the group on task.

How Mastermind Groups and Mentors Differ

The most obvious difference between the two is that mastermind groups are groups and mentors are one individual. Think of a mentor as a person you trust who can guide you and advise you. This person will generally have more experience than you and can, therefore, offer their own training and background to assist you on your path towards success. Like a mastermind group, a mentor will want to see you grow within your career.

The mentor-mentee relationship can be more casual in the sense that you may not have regular meetings or a list of topics to discuss when you do. Your mentor will also be invested in seeing you succeed. They’ll be your support and your champion, building your confidence when you need it and also pushing you outside your comfort zone and challenging you towards growth. A mentorship allows for the one-on-one relationship that’s not available within the confines of a mastermind group.

HR Professionals Can Benefit From Peer-to-peer Groups and Mentors

We’ve all heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” When you align yourself with a mastermind group of peers, you get to know others within your field who can appreciate the situations you face. They may have been through a similar situation before or have connections and resources they can pass along to you. By networking and forming relationships, you can build trust with others in your field. While you’ll have something in common with the other members, you’ll benefit from their different experiences and they can help you check your ideas, learn about what they’ve done before that’s worked well (or hasn’t), and together you can brainstorm new ideas. Other members will benefit because you’ll provide these same things for them.

Finding a group of HR professionals is essential on your journey to HR success.  The group should be able to provide resources that allow you to stay on top of the HR industry including best practices, compliance issues, and more with webinars.  If you have questions (and who doesn’t?), you’ll have a group of people ready to help. Others will be able to draw upon your experience as well to help them sort through the challenges they’re facing in their business.  Find your group of people and hold on to them tight!

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