We perform our best when we are in the energy and flow of the moment. Think of a river running downhill on the side of a mountain. The water is perfectly in balance with the rocks it is flowing over and the width of the stream bed, as gravity naturally draws the stream downwards.
No matter what you are doing, it will always be better when you are tapping into your natural energy and flow. This is also true when we are leading people.
Before you can fully be in team flow, you need to first identify ways that work naturally to put you into the flow. Here are some activities where you can find your own flow. Next time that you are doing one of these, pay attention to where your energy levels are and how you are interacting with your environment.
Commuting. Many of us have to commute to work. Turn off the radio and become aware of the traffic and people around you. See how you are in the flow of the commute or fighting it.
Dinner Time. If you are in the habit of eating together as a family at dinner, note how the conversation ebbs and flows with and around you.
Hiking. When hiking alone, observe when you are connected with nature and the world around you. With others, see how the conversation naturally gets quiet when you are on a tough uphill pull and how it resumes when the trail is flatter.
Music. Whether listening or playing, solo or in a group, music can have a massive impact on our energy levels. See what musical activity gives you more energy and when it is easiest for you to be in tune with the music.
Running. From run to run be aware of when it seems easy and effortless to be in the rhythm of your run. It can easily change by the day of the week, the time of the day, the terrain, or even who you are running with.
Skiing. Whether skiing or snowboarding, you are like the water in the stream—using gravity to propel you naturally down the side of a snow covered mountain. As the terrain changes, notice when you are perfectly in the flow of the fall line versus when you are fighting the mountain.
Water. Being in or on the water, whether it is swimming, sailing, paddling, or other naturally powered activities, you are forced into being in touch with the wind and wave conditions around you. Feel how your energy and relationship with nature changes as the conditions change.
Yoga. Every moment in yoga (as in life) is different. When you switch from one side to another in a pose, see how it is different and how you feel the energy in your body differently.
Being a great leader starts with self-awareness of when you are in your peak energy and flow. Then you can get curious about the energy and flow of the teams you are on and the people you lead. Just as you have your own natural energy and flow, discover what works best for those that you lead. Then set up your environment so that everyone is in their own natural energy and flow. Like a stream travelling downhill, when you set it up this way, everything gets easier.