IC TIG Week: Leveraging Independence, Together by are Amanda Klein, Ann Price, Chelsea BaileyShea, & James Pann

Hello! We are Amanda Klein, Ann Price, Chelsea BaileyShea, and James Pann of the IC TIG. We are all independent evaluators and members of one of the IC TIG Mastermind groups. We each live in different states, but we’ve been meeting via Zoom every two weeks since January 2020 to discuss our businesses and evaluation practice.

Amanda Klein, Ann Price, Chelsea BaileyShea, and James Pann
Top Left: Chelsea BaileyShea; Top Right: Amanda Klein,
Bottom Left: Ann Price; Bottom Right: James Pann

In The Law of Success, Napoleon Hill described the mastermind group principle as: “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.” He goes on to write that these groups can “help overcome fears, develop a burning desire to achieve your dream, [support you in being] persistent in your efforts, and visualize your success.”

Through this model, we have developed a great rapport. We’ve transformed from strangers to trusted colleagues and learned how to improve our independent practices while also partnering for maximum impact. In fact, we recently collaborated on a joint proposal.

As a group, we have:

  • Built our community and support network;
  • Had the opportunity to collaboratively problem-solve and brainstorm;
  • Shared new ideas, software platforms, lessons learned, and best practices; and
  • Felt motivated to stay on track with our personal and professional goals.

Here is what we each have gotten out of participating:

“Our Mastermind group gave me a peer group I didn’t know I needed as an independent evaluator. They have helped me overcome some challenges in my business and encouraged me to be more confident as an evaluator and business owner.” – Amanda

“What I have received from our group, besides a lot of great laughs, are new ideas for marketing my business and ways to address specific business concerns. Our group has become a trusted place where I can test ideas and get feedback.”  – Ann

“I really enjoyed the collaborative process we undertook to write and submit an RFP. Together, we crafted a proposal that highlighted our individual and collective strengths. I love that our group is a place where I feel comfortable asking for support and advice.” – Chelsea

“For me, it was helpful meeting with other evaluators and obtaining their input on a regular basis. It was especially beneficial that they were interested in improving their practices and open to new ideas and providing honest feedback.” – James

Rad Resource: Want more information on the benefits of Mastermind groups? Check out this article.

Lessons Learned/Cool Tricks:

  • Schedule meetings in advance and meet consistently to keep everyone committed and accountable;
  • Make sure everyone has a chance to share;
  • Choose a structure that works for your group. Some groups are more structured than ours, but our flexibility has been helpful for us.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating IC TIG Week with our colleagues in the Independent Consulting Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our IC TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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