Managing in and through a crisis – Part 2

This three minute video is the second in a series of four around managing in and though a crisis presented by Aimee Robson.

In this video, Aimee continues the series by explaining the second concept which is ‘Understand that not all chaos is bad’ using Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow.

Having now watched the video, please take a moment to reflect on the following questions:

Q: What key piece of learning will you take from this video?

Q: How will you put your learning back into your professional practice?

Something to consider when managing in and through a crisis. Is that not all chaos going on around us is bad. I love the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and in particular around the concept of flow. Mihaly is a psychologist and his research showed that where people were at their most creative, productive and happy are when they are in a state of flow.

Csikszentmihalyi developed the term flow state because many of the people he interviewed described their optimal state of performance were in instances where their work simply flowed out of them without much effort. He determined that flow is not only essential to a productive employee, but it is imperative to a contented one as well. And therefore, flow state is an active state. Mihaly summarised this in this visual showing the relationship between abilities and challenges.

When the challenges we face and our abilities to face them are not in balance. This can lead to instances where we are not in flow and we may experience feelings such as boredom, apathy, worry and some other states that you see illustrated in this diagram.

Mihaly’s research outlines that there are nine conditional elements to the state of flow, including:

One, there are clear goals every step of the way. Two, there is immediate feedback to one’s actions. Three, there is a balance between skill and challenge. Four, actions and awareness are merged. Five, distractions are excluded from consciousness. Six, there is no worry about failure. Seven, self-consciousness disappears. Eight, a sense of time becomes distorted. And nine, the activity becomes auto to let it be rewarding in and of itself.

Further research shows a strong relationship between flow state and higher quality health care. People in flow state are more joyful, more alert and more curious when in a state of flow. This culture has clearly demonstrated to improve quality and safety in health care.

As leaders and managers at times we work in difficult situations. Understanding what conditions help us to get into a state of flow is important to recognise and important to aspire to as we and those we lead are more happy, productive, challenged, active and impactful.

Join me next time when I’ll be looking at what we can and cannot influence when managing a crisis using Stephen Covey’s Circle of Influence Model. Thank you for watching and feel free to leave a comment on this video to promote Project M’s approach to shared learning.


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