by Kate Hammer (UK)

A new monograph from Springer Briefs in Well-Being and Quality of Life Research called Team Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Collaboration (2019) contains important findings for coaches, especially those who work on-site with members of a common team. Two leading psychological researchers – Jef J.J. van den Hout, PhD and Orin C. Davis, PhD – have teamed up to provide a comprehensive portrait of team flow, why business leaders and coaches should care and what the state of research into the topic shows. Fundamentally, the book aims ‘to make flow, and especially team flow, more accessible so that more people will have more optimal experiences throughout their lives’(4).

Key features of Team Flow:

The book:

  • Defines flow as ‘an engaged experience that we find meaningful and about which we feel positive afterwards’(2), and defends the idea that ‘flow is possible for teams as it is for individuals’(4).
  • Distinguishes flow as an experience not a state, which immediately situates it in the world, not simply within the psychology of the individual.
  • Shows how team flow depends on the flow of individuals within the team, and also recognises that agency exists at both the team and individual levels.
  • Explains why team flow is a worthwhile issue for psychologists to study, and updates readers on the state of this emerging sub-field.

We are wise to remember: ‘An effective team is always capable of more than the sum of its members’ abilities’(50). This book will help coaches and psychologically-minded leaders get to grips with the dynamics that make this so.

Source: iCN Issue 29 (Business Coaching: Building your Organisation); pages 22-23

About Kate Hammer

Kate helps complex businesses/orgs understand human dynamics so they can better serve consumer needs, use creativity in the workplace with more joy and less fear, and innovate better. She combines semiotics and trend-scanning with rich knowledge ranging widely across the human sciences. She is skilled at making the theoretical practical and accessible. Semiostories is her flagship project in this arena.

A Certified Creative Problem Solving facilitator and trainer, she is also an academically qualified life and work coach for individuals flapping like fishes, desperate to swim in ambitious work/creative projects and complex lives.

Most often, she works as an ‘intel inside’ helping corporate/consultant teams make sense of culture and make change. She also offerd transformative tailored 1:1 coaching programmes for people making big changes, craving sense, often in the face of chaos, launching/ramping/leaving cherished and/or creative businesses.