Meetings In Flow & On Purpose, Blog 1: MEETING STRUCTURE

Jul 27, 2020
Frieda Janssens

‘Meeting culture'... a word we frequently hear in conversations with our business associates. Usually it’s not meant in a positive sense. When we ask what exactly they mean,  these situations come up:

  • Meetings take 'too' long, and certainly longer than expected.
  • Often the same people speak
  • The loudest person gets done more
  • The  remark: "I don't know what I'm doing there"
  • The remark:  "I'm not being heard" 
  •  "Sometimes I let myself overrule. With hindsight, I realize how I could have reacted."
  • Personal interests take precedence over common interest
  • We don't take decisions
  •  It's nothing more than a chat session

Maybe you can complete this list with your  personal experiences. 

Meetings don't have to be that painful.

They can be enriching, midst the choice of the right type of meeting and the participation of the members selected tocontribute and/or 'pick up' something from the meeting. 

In this blog, we focus on bringing STRUCTURE to a meeting. Our next blog will be about the conditions for a desired meetingCULTURE.


Make a 'toast' for each meeting and people can determine whether or not their presence will add value. A 'toast' is meant to bring structure to every meeting. The meeting is announced beforehand according to the T, O, A, S, T, being:

  • Type of meeting e.g. Weekly staff meeting, operational coordination, strategic workshop, governance meeting, ... 
  • Objectives: Information to share, things to decide, things to discuss.
  • Agenda with timing per topic.
  • Smoothness: what we agree on laptops, mobile phones, how we handle conflict, listen and give feedback, ...
  • Tasks: who is the timekeeper, who takes notes, who’s the facilitator?  These roles can be performed alternately so that everyone learns.

A meeting toast is a standardized methodology creating a common language. It is not a promise for a meeting 100% in flow. In our next blog you will learn more about meeting CULTURE.

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