9. December 2022 Structure before Content

Do you sometimes feel uncomfortable in meetings whether it’s online or offline? Maybe you are in a meeting with people you don’t know? Or people you know, but you don’t know, why this person is in the meeting right now? Maybe you don’t know, how long the meeting exactly will take or when there will be any breaks? Maybe, you need to do an urgent call but you don’t know, when you can get away for 15 minutes? It may also happen that persons are suddenly not attending anymore or not attending, even though the person attended before?

In this article I will tell you a little bit about systemic importance in daily life. I am no expert on this, but experienced and read some things about it.

Feeling uncomforatble, hum?

I think, that you have experienced these emotions, these situations before and maybe it’s not that long away… Often this happens because there is missing information on main circumstances.

Mostly you feel not comfortable in these situations, because of the following:

  • You are new, to the topic, the group, the company
  • You are not involved so far
  • You have more urgent things to do right now
  • You are in any kind of struggle
    • you do not have 100% of your strength (illness, bad night, …)
    • You are distracted by something else (private or business)
  • You are annoyed because of different things
    • people
    • topic
    • meeting time
  • a lot of more personal sensitivities

If things, that are important to you right, are not respected, then you will feel uncomfortable.


There is a lot of information that should be made clear at the beginning:

  • What is the meeting about?
  • What is the aim of the meeting?
  • When will it start; when will it end?
  • Will there be breaks?
  • Is there something, you should know about?
  • Do you know everyone in the meeting and do you know, why the persons attends?

If these things are clear, then all will have a good start. If it is an offline meeting or conference, then it is important to know:

  • where are the restrooms?
  • where can be smoked?
  • When will there be lunch? where? will it be free of charge or do you have to pay for it?


If you place a meeting, you should be aware of these structures and provide the appropriate information. But you should do some more… After all the basic information data is done, you should make sure that you involve everyone in the meeting and has the opportunity to share hers or his thoughts. Make clear who is working with each other and who is responsible for what part.

Therefore, the following questions can help the participants to share their thoughts and limitations:

  • Does anyone knows everyone in the meeting? If not, you should invest some time for a short introduction. If you are introducing yourself, do not only provide name, but also company (external company? different location?), function, why you are attending and what your tasks will be.
  • Is there anyone you needs to leave earlier or exactly on time?
  • Is there anything that needs to be told, before starting?

These things might seems to be not necessary, but based on my experience, this is very important. If you are feeling uncomfortable, then you will not be able to be 100% present.

If all necessary information about the structure, then everyone will find it ta lot easier to follow the content and be a valuable part of the meeting.

Other Systemic Components

All the above questions and elements are part of a systemic organization. The objective structure before content often helps to avoid personal uncertainties. There are a lot more which I will just list without any more explanation, because this topic is a wide one.

  • Motivation and meaning. What is the good reason behind the meeting?
  • Balance. Is everything balanced, so that everyone who took part in something has „been paid“ a compensation?
  • Binding. Is everyone involved, who should be involved? is someone missing? are there parts or pepole that are segregated?
  • Order/ regualrity. Is everything clear? Are there precise rules for people and working environments?
  • Sub systems. are there any sub systems that need to be taken in consideration?

I found it very useful to know about these systemic settings, because if there is something not in order, then weird things are happening.

If you are interested in systemic coaching and constellations then there is a lot to read and a lot to learn.


Enno Wulff