Category Archives: Flow

For a Winning Team, Go With the Flow

Guest post by Judith Young, friend of Simple Intentions

Blue Shirt Fridays! 12’s everywhere! Yep, football season is back, and Seattle Seahawk fans are ready to go. And despite a losing record so far this season, you can bet the Seahawks are already going…with the flow.

Go with the flow? It’s not exactly what we might think when we consider the rigor required of a champion football team, the stamina, the expectation of excellence, the Legion of Boom!

Within the field of positive psychology, flow is a focused and energized state in which one’s thoughts and feelings are effortlessly aligned with actions. It’s a heightened state of presence. There is considerable research on what fosters or blocks this state.

The Seattle Seahawks have leveraged the philosophy of flow, as described in this article, and trained in team flow to reach their phenomenal level of success.

Work teams can also reach such extraordinary levels of success through developing flow. The three specific characteristics associated with team flow are listed below, along with tactics for fostering them:

  1. Clear and shared goals
    -Discuss goals at the team and individual levels. Invite open questions and dialog. Decrease avoidance, withholding and attitudes of resignation by engaging in conversations.
    -In small team discussions and 1:1s ask everyone their understanding of how their work impacts the team goals.
  2. Blended egos
    -Foster a collaborative team spirit in which shared success is both celebrated and rewarded.
    -Managers and peers compliment any signs and acts of team collaboration and spirit.
    -Whenever possible, reward individual contributions toward shared success and the team as a whole.
    -Have monthly or quarterly morale events with the team’s input regarding the activities and timing.
  3. Full team participation
    -Cultivate an atmosphere of accountability and authenticity through open dialog, input and feedback, getting to know each other’s strengths, challenges and needs.
    -Openly and positively leverage strengths and support weaknesses. Consistently address needs – both personal and others’ needs.

A fourth key to the Seahawks success is a highly empowered and optimistic attitude. They think like winners. They don’t think they might score or win; they know they will. And when they’re down 19-7 with less than 3 minutes left in the game, they still know they will – and more often than not, they do! It’s a relentless kind of resilience that many world-class athletes learn to live by.

Do you want to be a winning team? Then go with the flow like the champions do!