Level Up Your Team Meetings

Matthew Biswas
MDI Contributor

Schools are out and it’s time for a report card on my personal mission. Over the past few years, I’ve strived to level up my team’s meetings. My team “Midnight Sons” in Toronto has been delivering excellent meetings. To make sure I’m pulling my weight, I’ve been trying to bring my A-game every time I lead a meeting. I try to bring the team new ideas, new places, and new opportunities. In the below “Report Card” I list out a number of agenda items I wish to bring to meetings. Have a look at the card below, and you can give me a final grade. 

Report Card

Take in a cultural event

Living in a major city, Midnight Sons has many opportunities to step outside our normal meeting. We choose to go to a Toronto Blue Jays game. Ten of us (including one guest) climbed to “cheap seats” at the Rogers Centre. We watched the Jays womp the St. Louis Cardinals 10 – 3. A perfect summer night.


  • Food and drinks a plenty – We went on $1 hot dog night and took advantage of the bottomless bucket of popcorn.
  • Great way to introduce professional sports to men who may have been previously disinterested or new to the city.


  • A stadium with 40,000 people doesn’t allow a good opportunity for circle time.

Grade: B+

Have a guest Speaker

One fall evening Dr. Stephen de Wit lead of Men And Mastery ran a workshop for the men on relationships, intimacy, and sexuality.  Dr. de Wit prepared a video before the meeting with an exercise to be completed when we met. During the meeting, men brought some deeply personal questions to discuss freely with the team. 


  • Often our team relies on “shared experience” when a man reaches out for help. That experience can be limited or even flawed. Having a specialist provide expert insights, information, and advice drastically levels up the team meeting.
  • The meeting was such a success it was used as a model for a division-wide training session later.  


  • An extra cost may be involved – as a result men may need to pitch in and/or the meeting leader may need to cover the honorarium for the expert

Grade: A

Book/Media Study

Week after week men in our team bring similar goals, problems, and issues to the meeting. Some make commitments, some ask for support, some come back next week with improvements, and some don’t. One of the core issues to success and development is making new habits. Two months before the meeting I led, I asked the men to read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear and come prepared to discuss it during the meeting. The team didn’t want to do that. Some didn’t like the way I presented the “homework” some didn’t have the time and some weren’t interested. Needless to say, the meeting was a big step backward. 


  • Trying to find a book or other media for men to find common ground on their self-improvement could work. Week after week on our team men share what they learned or how they developed from watching YouTube videos or their experience tracking their habits on HabitShare, etc. If an entire team can try converging on one media, it could make the team level up on every front.


  • Asking the team to do extra homework is always tough in our very busy lives.

Grade: F

Learn a new skill together

This winter our team went indoor rock climbing. For most of the men, it was a new experience. We got to work together, support each other, and cheer on every man as we pushed ourselves physically and mentally. 


  • Doing something physically and mentally challenging is a phenomenal way to bring the best out of each man and the team as a whole.
  • Having experts teach the team skills, safety, etc. takes the pressure off the meeting leader and allows the entire team to have fun and grow.


  • A team with men who have restrictions on their physical exertion would need to find other activities to bond over.
  • There is an extra cost involved so some may not be able to participate. Also climbing gyms have many rules, waivers, equipment, training, etc. So extra time is needed at the front end of the activity, which can challenge men’s patience.

Grade: A

Final Grade: You Tell Me!

Final Comments

Every time I lead a meeting, I use the following guiding principles to ensure the meetings are “leveling up:”

  • Always serve food at your meetings – I make sure the break is worth waiting for. We’ve served Tim Horton’s donuts, homemade muffins, and cookies, samosas, and birthday cake. Breaking bread together is a great way to know your men better e.g. who has allergies, which men can bake, cook, etc. 
  • Make it unique and memorable – Choose events and activities that men can “scroll” back in their memories fondly.
  • Challenge your men – beyond emotionally. Challenge their physicality, their time management skills, their intellect, their openness to new ideas, etc. 
  • Leave time for men to use the circle: the hallmark of any successful MDI meeting.

Matthew “Biz” Biswas has been a member of Midnight Sons since 2018. He lives in Toronto, is a business, owner, father, semiskilled athlete, rock music aficionado, and closet prepper. He can be reached at matthew@biswas.ca or connect with him on Facebook or Instagram @matthewbiswas

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