“When the zone calls, you must listen. You never know how long being in the zone lasts. It is a cardinal rule – you must take advantage of every second that you are in the zone.” – John A Passaro
Daily Nugget of Gold 1537
Dynamics of Group Flow
We see it happen in sports occasionally. It’s been known to happen in such unrelated fields of human endeavor as diverse as in a restaurant, an orchestra, a hospital, or a fire department. What are we talking about here? We’re bringing up the maximization of human potential known as “flow”, but we’re applying the term this time to groups of people.
“Flow” for an individual is almost an automatic state of mind, it refers to- when we are performing a task almost effortlessly in a peak state of production. One would think that if we were doing that, we would be stressing ourselves out in no time, but the opposite seems to be true. Instead of tiring, the state known as flow releases amazing amounts of energy. Energy, without stress obstructing it, and without fear of failure. To be sure, the behavior we’re engaging in needs to be something we’ve mastered to the point that we can do it subconsciously. Often, a good indication of the mastery of a task down to the subconscious level would be if we could entertain a lively conversation while we’re working.
Group flow is pretty much the same state of mind at work, except now it might involve a few, a dozen, or even a hundred or more people. You don’t want to be on sports team which faces an opposing team in the dynamic of group flow. Such an opponent would likely capitalize on every mistake you make, they would almost all likely be performing at their personal best, and it seems as everything they need comes to them almost as if by design.
A team of people in an extremely busy restaurant might experience group flow. To some, it might look like a chaotic mess, but to the group of people working at their peak performance together, they all know they’re “in the zone”. While people in the state of group flow may be talking to each other, much of what needs to be done next is silently communicated somehow among the group.
It seems as if there was some sort of group consciousness being shared by everyone in whatever team of people we’re talking about, but this doesn’t always mean that every time these people perform, they’ll be experiencing the magic of group flow. Sometimes things don’t come together like that, but often- they do. As with anything, the more a team works together, they better they get at achieving that wonderful state.
Next time, let’s discuss some of the mechanics of this. We’re scientifically able to point to a few possible theories now as to what’s happening. See you then!
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“Have I ever benefited from group flow?”
Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.