What is Flow and How is Flow Created?

Approximate reading time: Less than 2 minutes.

People are most productive and satisfied when their work puts them in a state of “flow” — more commonly recognized as being “in the zone.” In the flow state, one experiences a heightened sense of focus and a generally higher sense of satisfaction. Being in the flow state is all about thriving versus striving. 

What we know about flow is primarily based on the work of psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, whose seminal book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, describes flow as the moment in which “a person’s body or mind is stretched to the limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

Flow experiences are created at work through opportunities to satisfy three basic needs:

  • autonomy
  • relatedness
  • competence.

As a leader, what are you doing to pay attention to these needs? 

This blog series on motivation has come to a natural close.  Subscribe now to receive the next series on mental toughness for success and resilience in career crisis.

Tell me about the challenges and successes you have with building capacity and capability for a great workplace and great profits. Contact me at patricia@maestroquality.com, at 905-858-7566, on LinkedIn, or on Maestro’s Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

Books and Audiobooks:

Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and EngagingSusan Fowler. Also available in Kindle Edition, on iTunes (audiobook), and in iBooks

Link for Motivation Series Blogs:

What is Flow and How is Flow Created? - We are Most Productive and Satisfied in the State of Flow
Boost Employee Commitment with Motivational Outlook Conversations
Motivate without Micromanaging - Eliminate Mindless Compliance and Conformity
Puzzles Motivate Monkeys. What Motivates People? – The Power of Self-Determination 
What We can Learn about Motivation from Monkeys – The Psychological Need for Competence
The Motivational Trifecta - Goldilocks Management: Just the Right Amount
Motivate without Over-Managing - This isn’t the 20th Century Workplace

Related Blogs:

Providing Conditions for Peak Performance, Patricia Muir