We can say that we work in a personalized way, so we don’t have “products on the shelf”. The idea is to build together with the client a proposal that meets the needs of the moment. Our methodology is born from listening, is shaped by the context and is transformed as the actions take place. Paying attention to participants’ responses makes all the difference to the process.
As the Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi said: “Business does better with people in Flow!” We start from the concept defined by him as FLOW: a mental state that happens when a person performs an activity and feels totally absorbed, in energy, excitement and focus, in what he is doing. We often say that you recognize this moment as the one that seems to make time stand still or fly by. People in the Flow state feel engaged in a creative process for something greater, and when we learn to control these inner experiences, we are able to determine the quality of our lives.
We’ve developed a model that prepares people, teams and organizations for growth in stages that vary from person to person and customer to customer. The objective is to relate skills and challenges that can generate different mental states. We go from apathy to moments of anxiety if these elements are not balanced. Equilibrium is called the optimal state or Flow .
How many times was our capacity not aligned with our challenges
How do we feel when this happens?
*For Mihaly, we have 8 types of sensations arising from this incompatibility:
In his research, Mihaly came across an internal conflict common to people in the way they relate to the way they earn their money. On the one hand, some respondents reported that they had some of the best and most positive moments while they were working. In this way, they should increasingly want to be working and their motivation at work should be very high. However, even when feeling good, people often say that they would rather not be working and their motivation at work is often low. And the opposite is also true, when they supposedly enjoy their much-deserved rest, they usually report low levels of excitement.
And therein lies the “work paradox”: At work, they feel skilled and challenged and subsequently happier, stronger, more creative and satisfied. In their free time, they don’t feel that their skills are being used, so they tend to feel sadder, weaker, slower and dissatisfied.
Why then do they prefer to work less and spend more time resting?
There are several possible explanations for this contradiction, but one conclusion is apparent: when it comes to work, people don’t pay attention to their feelings. They ignore the quality of the immediate experience and base their motivation on a culture rooted in the stereotype of what work “should be” .
How can Flow help with this dilemma?
In a 2013 survey*, the Gallup Institute showed that 70% of workers are dissatisfied. Mihaly made the same observation in his research. For him, there are three main reasons:
1. The need/lack of diversity and challenges
This can be a problem for anyone, but especially for those who work with a fixed routine for most of their day. These characteristics are inherent to the job, but they depend on how opportunities are perceived. Imagine if other people saw your work as boring or insignificant?
2. Dealing with conflicts with others at work, especially managers
Dealing with co-workers and managers can be a difficult task. Conflicts at work, in general, happen when people feel defensive because of the fear of losing credibility. And, perhaps, the best way to avoid them is to set goals that one can only achieve while helping others to achieve theirs. It’s less direct and more time-consuming than rushing to pursue your interests no matter what happens to others, but in the long run it rarely fails.
3. Burnout: too much stress and pressure, too little time for yourself and family
This is by far the most subjective aspect of the work and yet one of the simplest to consciously control. Stress exists only if we experience it; it takes more extreme objective conditions to cause it directly. The same amount of pressure can dishearten one person as much as positively challenge another.
Flow makes us feel more alive and makes us aware that we are unique . As consultants, we believe in a methodology that looks at the individual, even in projects that embrace the whole. It is not rare that, in many training courses, when talking about leadership, the organizational culture is involved and transformed. As with developing trainees and interns, we end up reaching leaders and organization.
*References to study published by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Flow Group is a global consultancy firm that prepares people, teams and organizations for growth and performance in Organizational Development, Culture, Leadership, Innovation and Change Management.
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