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What Is Flow?

After working with groups all over the world for 30+ years now, I know that when they accept my invitation to enter into a space of play (or flow,) transformation or growth or development is possible.

You could describe the science of flow as taking fun more seriously. We’ve all experienced it, at some point in our lives, often frequently. It’s those moments when you are totally absorbed by what you are doing, and, as described by Hungarian-American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, it holds the secret to happiness.

Flow is a highly-focused mental state conducive to productivity, and as such, is highly relevant to the development of individuals and groups.

If you’re responsible for the well-being and development of a group of people, I invite you to watch this fascinating TED Talk Mihaly presented in 2004.

For me, it deepens my understanding of how important it is to focus on creating the ideal environment in which your group can make appropriate decisions.

As I have grown in my role as a professional group facilitator, and trainer, I’ve slowly come to the conclusion that creating a space in which my group can make appropriate decisions (consistent with the goals of my program) is one of my primary responsibilities as a leader.

A bit like the notion of “if I build it, they will come,’ I truly believe that if I create the most conducive environment for my group, growth or learning or development will have the best chance of occurring.

And this is where the importance and impact of flow enter the picture. Growth, development and learning can be hard work, so the more I can immerse my group in moments of flow, the more likely they will be willing to engage in this hard work.

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About Mark Collard

I'm an experiential trainer, keynote speaker & author of three best-selling books. As the founder and director of playmeo, I am passionate about building connections through play.

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