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MENTAL SIDEWALK

Your Path To Awareness






Does Your Company Create The "Flow Experience"

Posted: 20-Jun-2015    Category:

It Will Impact Every Element of Your Business

Visiting any place is an experience for a person; either a good one, or a bad one. In this article, I will analyze “the flow experience”, and the science behind this over used word called experience.

Every day we visit a number of places and our memory stores the events of those places. Some events create a positive impact on the mind and are stored as happiness, while other events are either neglected or are stored as bad memories.

 

As Aristotle said “More than anything else, men and women seek happiness.”

 

(The view from the Villas for breakfast)

When our experience connects us to happiness the human mind will do everything possible to keep re-living that experience. Even by talking about it to others we relive that experience.

 

Imagine that as a marketing tool for your business.

Your customers sharing their happiness about their experience and your products, services, location etc.

 

Csikszentmihalyi & Csikzentmihaly (1991) Taking views from people belonging to different parts of the world, having distant cultures, speaking different languages and practicing different religions, they found that the feelings of good experience and happiness occur in the same manner in all these people.

 

The word “experience” has become as common as using the word ‘Hello” in the business realm. But have you also noticed how people say hello but do not slow down enough to actually mean it.  Everywhere we go, we hear people talking about the importance of creating an experience, but if you really think about it, how many times have you walked out of a business and really thought to yourself; “Wow! Now that is an incredible experience I will never forget.”

I just got back from Hester Creek Winery Villas, and I have to tell you, this is exactly what I thought.


 (Melissa thanks for the most amazing experience at your Villa)

One of the reasons for my lasting experience and enjoyment, was I felt the time had passed quickly and I wanted to enjoy more time. That is referred to what is called the “flow experience” theory of Csikszentmihalyi & Csikszentmihalyi, I. S. (1992, p. 89-92)

When a business focuses simply on experience of customers, it has an endless ripple effect impacting people’s lives.

Here is my ‘Flow Experience” with Hester Creek. I had the pleasure of speaking at their annual conference for all the staff, and I was so impressed with the leadership there and all the people that I had to come back and visit as a customer of their experience.

Customer of their experience – not customer of their products, services, establishment, etc...


(Awesome restaurant - Service with a smile and amazing food)

While I was there I had lost myself into their presence and forgot the hustle and bustle of my life. My body and mind simply did not want that flow of experience to stop. This reason of focused concentration and becoming aware of people at the place was also explained by Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi (2009. p. 195) in the flow experience.

I would highly recommend if you want to know what true experience is; go there and Stay at Hester Creek Winery in the Okanagan.

 

Now, I know every person has a different definition of what experience is, according to their perspective. But, here is the commonality, the actual outcome of that definition.


It is simple: Ask yourself; once people leave your presence did they feel amazing? Did they leave smiling and feeling good on the inside? If they did, they will return and tell the world about it.

 

 

Let’s look at some quick basic points that are so simple that we forget to focus on them at times. The simpler and smaller the act is, the more power it has to everyone involved.You feel focused, connected and happy from inside if the experience has no distractions. You feel dissolved and focused when the environment is serene and free of excessive challenges (Lopez, & Snyder, 2009. p. 196, 197).

 

Now the question arises, how can you avoid distractions and excessive challenges to give your customer a flow experience?

  • The answer to this question is rather very simple.
  • When people leave your presence make sure they feel safe and secure.
  • Meet with consistency - having a smile with a warm hello can be the minute act, but has incredible subconscious power to give experience to your customers (Massimini, & Delle Fave, 1995;Massimini, & Delle Fave, 2000).

That is what all the staff at Hester Creek, reminded me of – Consistency. At every contact point I experienced, wine shop, the restaurant, the Villa (you have to stay here), breakfast on the patio, even the people on the grounds.Every presence I left, I felt amazing, like I did not want to leave yet.Once that flow of experience starts the mind does not want to end that flow.

(Breathtaking views - doors opened up to the entire winery and landscape)

Braining (2012) in her book Meet Your Happy Chemicals explained that; euphoria, oxytocin, dopamine and endorphin are the “happy chemicals” which are released from your body, when you feel safe. But these “neuro-chemicals work without words” (p. 01)

I found the actions of a smile, environment and healthy conversation at the Hester Creek, is what stimulated my “happy chemicals” and created the “flow experience”.

I did not know how my happy chemicals were released, but according to Braining,

  • Release of Dopamine makes you joyful and you get the feeling “Heck, I feel this was so worth my time to be here”.
  •  
  • Endorphin stimulates Oblivion and you feel “I am completely happy at the place as if I don’t have any tension in my life”.
  •  
  • Oxytocin stimulates the feeling of security and safety and makes you feel “I believe all the people here are my friends and I can enjoy my time with them”.
  •  
  • Serotonin, another happy chemical makes you feel respected and you think to yourself “How all people here are treating me, like I am the king of this place”.

 

I was feeling happy, safe, secure, respectful, and wanted to visit back again and again to relive this experience. If I cannot go back and experience it, then I will talk about it constantly in order to experience it. I don’t know about you.

But, the reality is that I am not going on vacation to a place where people are cranky and not happy to be there.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would suggest you a few piece of advice.

  • Within your office culture create an environment that can ignite everyone’s happy chemicals, where people give each other flow experience. People feel time passing faster and they are so dissolved in the serenity and security of the environment that they forget the hard realities of their life.
  •  
  • When people leave your presence all they want to do is talk about your experience to others and truly want to visit your presence again.

References

Breuning, L. G. (2012). Meet Your Happy Chemicals. System Integrity Press.

Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Csikszentmihalyi, I. S. (1992). Optimal experience: Psychological studies of flow in consciousness. Cambridge university press.

Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Csikzentmihaly, M. (1991). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience (Vol. 41). New York: HarperPerennial.

Lopez, S. J., & Snyder, C. R. (2009). Oxford handbook of positive psychology. Oxford University Press, USA.

Massimini, F., & Delle Fave, A. (1995). Qualità dell’esperienza e coltivazione di attività musicali [quality of experience and cultivation of musical activities].Comunicazioni Scientifiche di Psicologia Generale, 14, 157-180.

Massimini, F., & Delle Fave, A. (2000). Individual development in a bio-cultural perspective. American Psychologist, 55(1), 24.

Nakamura, J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2009). Flow theory and research.Handbook of positive psychology, 195-206.

 

 



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