Team 2.0 in Flow
Could your business use some Wisdom?
Begin with Five Minute Silent Meditation
“The holy grail of today’s workplace is high employee engagement.” – Harvard Business Review, February 16, 2017
For at least a decade now Harris Polling has consistently shown that on average less than a third of your staff are engaged (which means 2/3’s are playing computer games and surfing porn at work).
What if your team was not just in the top third, it was in the top 1%?
If B Corps are to reinvent the economy, we need to start with reinventing ourselves.
“When we meditate, we get coherence from coherence comes wisdom” John Haglin PhD
Wisdom is from brain coherence, not time on the planet.
Coherence=commitment to all stakeholders
Team flow starts with the individual flow which stems from self-care
10 Practices to wisdom and flow
The three vital things I find to make these practices effective for brain coherence are:
You must be intentional (you consciously are choosing to be on the path of inner growth)
You must let go (stop driving your inner bus for a while)
It must be a regular practice (I assume daily)
It is clear to me the above three requisites, that two people going on a walk-in nature together may get vastly different outcomes based on their adherence to the above loose criteria.
Meditation (all kinds)
Mindfulness (This is a broad description of a range of practices focused on being present in the moment)
Yoga (all styles)
Breathe work (intentional, through the nose, etc.)
Time in nature/forest bathing/gardening/hiking
Movement/Sports (in the flow)
Art, music (in the flow)
Gratitude & Generosity (as an intentional practice)
Traditional authentic indigenous ceremonies (such as traditional sweat lodges)
Flow is an optimal state where we feel and perform our best. It’s commonly referred to as a heightened state of body and mind where action and awareness merge, time flies, and self-vanishes. Creativity, productivity, and performance all go through the roof.
The 8 Elements of Flow
Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced Chick–sent–meehayee) describes eight components of the flow experience. The first three are basic prerequisites; the other five address the subjective experience during activity inflow.
1. Clarity of goals and immediate feedback
…as seen in many sports or the arts. A tennis player knows exactly what is required to win a game. The rules are clear. In every action, success or failure is immediately perceived. Sports and the arts are therefore classic flow activities.
2. A high level of concentration on a limited field
This allows a person’s consciousness to delve deeply into the activity. In contrast, there are often chaotic and contradictory demands in daily life that may cause confusion and dissatisfaction.
3. Balance between skills and challenge
The difficulty of a task has to provide the right degree of challenge to a person’s ability. A too difficult piece of music will leave a musician frustrated and disappointed, a too easy one leads to boredom and routine. So flow occurs in the range between ‘too much’ and ‘too little’.
4. The feeling of control
Characteristic for flow is the feeling of heightened control over one’s actions. The expression ‘control’ is easily misunderstood. It can put many people off by its association with compulsive domination or nervous attention. Control inflow has none of these qualities. It is a state of security and relaxation with the complete absence of worry: the paradox known in Zen Buddhism as ‘control without controlling’.
Flow involves flexibility and ease; everything works harmoniously and effortlessly. A tennis match or a solo performance on stage may look strenuous from the outside; yet, if in fact, the player is in flow, he or she does not experience any particular strain. The activity runs smoothly, guided by inner logic. All necessary decisions arise spontaneously from the demands of the activity without any deliberate reflection.
6. An altered perception of time
In a deep flow-state, one’s normal perception of time is on hold. Time can either feel condensed – two hours feel like ten minutes or expanded – seconds feel like minutes. That is why the flow mode is called ‘timeless’.
7. The melting together of action and consciousness
Complete involvement creates a state in which there is no room for worry, fear, distraction, or self-conscious rumination. Performers do not feel separated from their actions; they are one with their performance. This feeling of unity can expand to a person’s surroundings (nature) as well as to a whole group of people working together (team flow).
8. The autotelic quality of flow experiences: IROI
From Greek autos – self and telos – goal. Not only achieving the goal of an activity is rewarding but the activity in itself is fulfilling. Flow is, therefore “Immediate Return on Investment”.
In conclusion, What are some initial steps can a business take?
First get deep clarity on your WHY, your Purpose, and your Vision, Mission, and Values. Many B Corps have started this work, some have gone deeper than others, the deeper you go the more effective you will be. Develop deep listening skills for all your stakeholders.
Self-care matters to you and your team. Start with your own enlightened self-interests grow it collectively from there. Focus on consistent sustainable steps.
Begin each meeting of three or more with a five-minute silent meditation.
Flow and coherence offer the next level beyond amazing opportunities. They are not quick fixes. They are a way to get on a path of being more effective.