(1 minute read)

Isn’t it interesting, how some people seem to remain engaged in their work, while others appear disconnected? While some team members are growing and developing, there can be others who seem to be going-through-the-motions.

Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, a Hungarian born Psychologist, introduced a model which may help understand why these phenomena occur, and what managers and leaders can do to re-engage their team members and employees.

As illustrated in the Psychologists model below, it’s all about challenging the individual.

Csikszentmihalyi uncovered the two core elements which can lead the individual to feel either overwhelmed or under-challenged. 1. How competent is the individual? 2. How challenging/difficult is the task or role?

Giving employees tasks or challenges that are well inside their level of competence can lead to discontent, boredom, or weariness.

In contrast, for the less skilled or newer team member, a task that is relatively complex or difficult can lead to heightened concern, anxiety, or distress.

The ‘sweet-spot’ – or FLOW – occurs when the leader or manager presents the team member with a task that is challenging enough to extend them, demand their attention and help them further develop. It seems these individuals are more likely to continue their relationship with the company due to the level of challenge they are presented with, and the training and support provided.


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