The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2023 - 10

There is plenty
of information
and training
available for
those starting
out in our
profession,
but materials
for advanced
specialization
and experience
can be scarce.
record for the purpose of
continuing education points
(CEPS). Group facilitators
and participants are eligible
for CEPs and can earn up to
10 points (one CEP per two
hours of volunteering).
The monthly meetings
will include aspects typically
not found in a class or
presentation: giving each
other feedback, sharing what
you learned, or pursuing
specific questions. No one
in the group, including the
facilitator, has to be an
expert on the subject matter.
Activities such as selling your
services, discussing unrelated
concerns, or taking over the
conversation will be firmly
discouraged. The quality
of discourse makes all the
difference. When members of
a Mastermind group abandon
their cooperative dialogue
and start complaining,
they have turned their group
into a committee.
Experience has shown that
the excitement and learning
intensity of Mastermind
groups can wane after about
six months. People usually
begin to drift away because
the topic has been addressed
to their satisfaction, or the
group is not as fruitful as it
was initially. Of course,
some groups may want to
stay together longer, but
our expectation is for the
groups to work together for
six months.
What Does It Take
to Be a Mastermind
Group Participant?
To make a Mastermind group
successful, participants
should be both interested
and committed to making
it work. Before the first
meeting, members will
10 The ATA Chronicle | November/December 2023
agree on group rules,
expectations, and guidelines.
That includes setting a
single, definite focus for
the group and clarifying the
outcome everyone is looking
to create. Confidentiality is
another critical aspect, so
participants need to be sure
to talk about what everyone
can and can't share.
Participants must commit
to attending every meeting.
As mentioned earlier, they
are expected to show up fully
prepared, take responsibility
for their own goals, and hold
each other accountable for
working toward these goals.
The work of a Mastermind
group doesn't end after a
meeting. Everyone must
dedicate time for taking
action, learning, and research
between meetings. The group
can also decide on shared
activities outside of meetings,
such as reading an article or
chapter of a book together.
Groups may invite outside
speakers on specific topics
or arrange for presentations.
The most crucial point is
that activities are planned
jointly and that everyone
takes an active role in the
conversations. Leaning back
and letting others do the
work is not acceptable.
Mastermind Group
Facilitators
Applicants to the program
will have the option to
volunteer as a Mastermind
group facilitator. What does
this entail? Facilitators start
and run the groups. They
help initiate discussions
among members and ensure a
successful group dynamic by
encouraging teamwork and
accountability.
Being a group facilitator
has many benefits. It's an
ideal way to try something
new. A group facilitator
doesn't need any previous
leadership experience, and
there is no expectation of
teaching or being an expert.
This means that the facilitator
can have the same level of
professional experience as
the other group members.
Qualifications include an
interest in learning about
the topic and a willingness
to network with peers in
other language pairs/fields/
locations. Please be aware
that all group facilitators will
be asked to commit for a sixmonth
period.
Facilitating a Mastermind
group can expand your
network beyond your
language pair or division.
Because all participants
are ATA members, you'll
learn more about other ATA
membership benefits and
division activities.
Interested in
Participating?
Applications will be accepted
again in January and February
2024. We look forward to
hearing from you!
Dorothee Racette, CT, an ATA-certified
German<>English translator, has worked as a
full-time freelance translator for over 25 years. She
served as ATA president from 2011 to 2013. In
2014, she established her own coaching business,
Take Back My Day, to help individuals and organizations solve
problems related to workflow and time management. As a
certified productivity coach, she now divides her time between
translating and coaching. dorothee.racette@gmail.com
www.atanet.org
http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2023

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