Flow is a state of mind that is often associated with individual performance, but the concept of group flow is equally compelling. Group flow is a phenomenon that occurs when individuals become so absorbed in the task at hand that they work together seamlessly as a unit. When a team achieves group flow, the results can be awe-inspiring. However, achieving group flow is not always easy, particularly in today’s hybrid work environment.
Group flow is a state in which individuals feel as though they are part of something larger than themselves. This sense of belonging and unity can lead to a heightened level of performance, as well as a feeling of deep satisfaction and fulfillment. When a team is in a state of group flow, individual egos are set aside, and the focus is solely on the task at hand. In this way, group flow is similar to the concept of “being in the zone” or “being in the groove,” but it extends to an entire group rather than just an individual.
How often have you had your whole team together in an environment that supports group flow?
As I mentioned in this resource, group flow emerges from several interacting factors, mainly depending on the relationships between group members. According to a leading researcher on the subject Keith Sawyer, the essential elements are: sharing a common goal, spontaneous creati4vity (without conscious deliberation), the blending of egos, equal participation, communication, familiarity, and a feeling of moving forward.
Several key benefits of group flow make it a powerful tool for team performance:
- Improved Communication and Collaboration: Group flow requires a high level of coordination and collaboration between team members, which can improve communication and collaboration skills. In this state, team members become more attuned to each other’s needs, strengths, and weaknesses, leading to more effective communication and collaboration. Improved communication and collaboration can lead to a better understanding of team goals and objectives, helping to align individual actions with team goals.
- Increased Creativity and Innovation: During group flow, team members can reach new levels of creativity and innovation. The team’s collective energy and synergy can lead to the development of new ideas and approaches that may not have been possible otherwise. In addition, group flow can inspire team members to take risks and explore new possibilities, leading to a greater sense of experimentation and creativity.
- Enhanced Focus and Concentration: When in a state of group flow, team members can become hyper-focused on the task at hand, leading to enhanced focus and concentration. This focus can help team members tune out distractions and stay on task, which can improve overall team performance.
- Improved Problem-Solving Ability: During group flow, team members can become more effective problem solvers. The team’s collective energy and synergy can help identify problems more quickly and efficiently, leading to faster and more effective solutions. Additionally, group flow can inspire team members to think more creatively about problem-solving, leading to new and innovative solutions.
- SET CLEAR GOALS
- CLOSE LISTENING
- COMPLETE CONCENTRATION
- SENSE OF CONTROL
- COMBINING EGOS
- EQUAL PARTICIPATION
- FORWARD MOMENTUM
- FAILURE IS NOT THE OPPOSITE OF SUCCESS
How do we create group flow in 2023?
- Create group flow days.
The group flow day is a new format I am experimenting with where the entire team comes together for a day of focused work. The goal is to create an environment that supports flow and allows everyone to experience it firsthand. Organising times when all the team need to be in the office or at an event will help. Equal participation is vital in experiencing flow together; therefore, arranging these days in advance is essential.
- Educate your team about group flow.
Make flow a part of your team’s culture by educating them about what it is and why it matters. The more everyone understands group flow, the easier it will be to create it. Small group focus work meetings are a big help. The key for me is point 3. We need complete concentration, don’t allow team members to check emails, phones etc. Group flow requires attention and recovery after the session, so make sure you build that into the week or day.
- Experiment with different methods of group work environments.
There is no one right way to achieve group flow, so experiment with different methods of group work environments until you find what works best for your team. Some team members might prefer working in an office; some enjoy the outdoors, or what about a creative space such as a museum?
Watch the video on 10 Things to improve group flow.
Group flow is a powerful tool for a team performance that can lead to spectacular results. However, achieving group flow is not always easy. Several key benefits of group flow make it a powerful tool for team performance, including improved communication and collaboration, increased creativity and innovation, enhanced focus and concentration, and improved problem-solving ability.
Investing time in this area can and will help team performance. 2023 has created a challenge in teams coming together, but by creating time and the right environment, there can be massive benefits to performance and happiness for all team members.
Creating group flow days in and out of the office will increase the team’s performance.
Interested in group flow or flow states, drop me an email to chat [email protected].
Director and Founder