One of the most important tasks as technology leader is keeping your team motivated.
Developers need to be challenged with interesting problems. If their work is challenging yet doable then they can reach a state of “flow”. This means they’re fully involved and engaged in the work their doing. This is a good sign that they’re highly motivated.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Ted Talk “Flow, the secret to happiness” contains a great graph to help show the different states that people are in depending on their skill and the degree of challenge that their work is giving them.
I think it’s worth looking at this chart in more detail…
Take a look at your current tasks. Which segment are they in?
- If you’re mainly in Flow then great.
- Perhaps you’ve just had your interested sparked. How can you gain the skills you need to really complete the task?
- Or are you in control mode? Just cruising along in your comfort zone. How can you take on more responsibility to make it a worthwhile challenge.
- If you’re in Relaxation, Boredom or Apathy then you should really be looking to find a more challenging or interesting task.
- If you’re in the Worry or Anxiety zones then you probably need to get support so the task is less challenging.
What should I do now?
- Watch the full TED talk, it’s well worth it.
- Use this graph as a basis for a conversation with your boss or team members.
- Take a look at the Sketchnote review I created. (PDF version here: LTSketch001-FlowTheSecretToHappiness)