As stated by Dr Seligman who developed the PERMA model, “When we focus on doing the things we truly enjoy and care about, we can begin to engage completely with the present moment and enter the state of being known as “flow”” (Seligman, 2011 – Article “Health, stress, well-being and positive affectivity” page 12).
Therefore, this kind of flow experience is strictly related to Engagement because this is what employees experience when they are focused and actively engaged in a task or activity.
This principle was developed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, a Hungarian-American psychologist who suggested that there are 8 main “pre-requisites” to reach flow experiences as shown in the image below:
As shown in the diagram below, when you are engaged in an activity, if you find a balance between the challenge you are facing and the skill to accomplish it, then you will get in the “flow channel”. Of course, if you do not, then you will fall into boredom or be overwhelmed by anxiety.
Basically, MihályCsíkszentmihályi was the first to define the mental state of true engagement as flow, being “the holistic sensation that people feel when they act with total involvement with their activity” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975, p. 9).
Therefore, we may state that flow and engagement are related with well-being and business success as when someone’s mind (whether it is an employee or an employer) becomes entirely absorbed in the activity, he/she feels “strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious and at the peak of their abilities.”
When we are in the flow state we definitely feel like we are completely absorbed by a challenging, achievable and purposeful situation or task and any distractions(like for instance phone calls or noises around us) simply disappear and do not annoy us at all.
Therefore, we feel thrilled and skilful for our work that become fun to us and we feel at the top of our performance.
In other words, we may state that the predominant feelings we have when we are inflow are:
Clearly, the benefits generating the state of flow in the working environment are several, including: