Chroniques Clinique Carrière: Des défis à la mesure de vos compétences … À la recherche de votre flow professionnel ? (Julie Gailly)

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Chroniques CLINIQUE CARRIÈRE


Des défis à la mesure de vos compétences …

À la recherche de votre flow professionnel ? 

JULIE GAILLY

Finissante de la maîtrise en carriérologie, UQAM

Contribution : Louis Cournoyer, professeur (counseling de carrière), UQAM


Vous arrive-t-il de vous sentir pleinement concentré sur vos tâches au travail, au sommet de votre créativité, motivé par ce que vous faites, à tel point que vous ne voyez pas le temps passer? Cela vous procure-t-il une sensation de bien-être que vous souhaitez revivre sans trop savoir comment y parvenir? Vous êtes alors sans doute dans votre zone de flow. Mais, qu’est-ce que le flow? Cet article propose une définition du flow, présente les conditions qui mènent à cet état et les conséquences que cela peut avoir sur votre vie au travail. Je conclurai en vous proposant un exercice pour amorcer votre réflexion sur le flow dans votre vie professionnelle.

Le flow, un concept né à contrecourant

Longtemps intéressés à expliquer la détresse psychologique des individus, les chercheurs se tournent depuis quelques décennies vers l’étude de la santé et du bien-être, pour comprendre notamment les causes du bonheur et du fonctionnement optimal au travail (Seligman, 2002). Le psychologue hongrois Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, un des pères du courant de la psychologie positive, a interviewé dans les années 70 des centaines d’individus qui disaient avoir du plaisir dans leurs activités. Pour décrire l’expérience qu’ils vivaient, plusieurs participants ont utilisé l’image du courant qui les emportait sans effort, d’où la naissance du terme flow.

L’état de flow est décrit par Csikszentmihalyi (1990) comme un état de concentration qui implique une absorption et un engagement complets dans la tâche. Un individu dans son flow fonctionne à pleine capacité et est capable de se consacrer à des activités longues, complexes et parfois risquées, sans motivation autre que le plaisir d’accomplir cette tâche. En d’autres termes, dans le flow, votre perception du temps est altérée, vos préoccupations disparaissent et les distractions ne vous atteignent pas. Vous êtes motivé non pas par des récompenses externes ou par le résultat, mais par la nature même de la tâche et les sensations de plaisir qu’elle procure.

Un fragile équilibre pour être dans la « zone »

Pour entrer dans votre zone de flow, plusieurs conditions sont nécessaires. La plus importante condition est l’équilibre entre le niveau de difficulté de la tâche auquel vous faites face et votre niveau de compétence par rapport à la tâche. Tout est ici question d’expérience subjective, c’est-à-dire de vos perceptions à l’égard de la difficulté de la tâche et de votre niveau de compétence, et non pas d’une mesure objective et externe de ces deux notions (Nakamura et Csikszentmihalyi, 2009).

Cet équilibre est précaire. Quand la difficulté de la tâche commence à dépasser votre niveau de compétence, vous entrez alors dans un état de vigilance pouvant se transformer en anxiété. À l’inverse, quand votre niveau de compétence tend à surpasser le degré de difficulté de la tâche, vous entrez dans un premier temps dans un état de relaxation, qui à la longue se transforme en ennui. La tâche doit donc être suffisamment complexe pour vous stimuler, mais pas trop, pour vous permettre de maintenir un sentiment de contrôle à l’égard de l’accomplissement de la tâche. La figure ci-dessous illustre cette notion d’équilibre  (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975).

 

flow

Figure 1 : Modèle de l’état de flow

 

Une boucle de rétroaction entre vous et la tâche

La deuxième condition pour le maintien du flow est la présence d’une cible claire et d’une rétroaction immédiate sur le progrès réalisé (Nakamura et Csikszentmihalyi, 2009). Vous savez ce que vous voulez accomplir et la tâche elle-même ainsi que l’expérience que vous vivez lors de son accomplissement sont génératrices de feedback. Par exemple, vous êtes en train d’accomplir une tâche au travail qui vous permet d’atteindre un équilibre défi-compétences engendrant le flow. Le plaisir suscité par la tâche, première forme de rétroaction, vous amène à agir en augmentant le degré de difficulté pour continuer à être stimulé, motivé et absorbé. La tâche, en devenant plus complexe, peut vous faire alors vivre de l’anxiété. Cette anxiété ressentie agit également comme une forme de rétroaction sur la tâche et vous amène à réajuster à la baisse le niveau de difficulté. Ces actions d’ajustement que vous prenez, en interaction avec la tâche et votre expérience, vous permettent ainsi de rétablir l’équilibre et de retourner dans votre flow.

Des conséquences pour vous…et votre employeur!

Le fait de trouver des tâches au travail qui vous procurent plaisir, motivation et engagement pourrait être une fin en soi. L’intérêt du flow est cependant qu’une fois cet état atteint, vous avez l’envie de vous y maintenir, car il vous fait vivre des émotions et des expériences positives. Dans ces conditions, vous avez non seulement plus de chance d’accomplir vos tâches avec succès, mais cet état vous encourage également à rechercher de nouveaux défis et ainsi à développer vos compétences pour vous maintenir dans votre flow. Trouver, conjointement avec votre employeur, des défis à la mesure de vos compétences, et les ajuster au fur et à mesure de votre évolution, pourrait donc faire de vous un employé heureux, actualisé et performant!

Et vous, êtes-vous dans votre flow? Un exercice de réflexion

– Prenez 5 à 10 tâches de votre emploi. Soyez spontanés! Celles qui vous viennent à l’esprit sont probablement celles qui vous occupent, ou vous préoccupent, le plus. Situez-les dans la figure présentée dans l’article en fonction de votre sentiment de compétence par rapport à chaque tâche et du défi qu’elle représente pour vous.

– Maintenant, regardez l’ensemble de votre graphique : Êtes-vous généralement dans la zone optimale de flow? Certaines tâches vous font-elles vivre de l’ennui? D’autres causent-elles plutôt de l’anxiété? Comment pouvez-vous agir? Pouvez-vous identifiez des moyens pour rétablir l’équilibre?

 

photo-julie-gailly

 

Julie Gailly a étudié en droit, en psychologie et en criminologie avant de travailler pendant sept ans comme éducatrice spécialisée auprès d’enfants du primaire. Après un retour aux études à la majeure en développement de carrière, elle est actuellement étudiante en dernière année de maitrise en carriérologie et conseillère à la Clinique Carrière. Passionnée par la compréhension et l’analyse des comportements humains, elle est dans son flow quand elle aide les individus à identifier et mobiliser leurs ressources afin de leur permettre de s’actualiser dans leur vie professionnelle. Elle se dirige vers la pratique en milieu organisationnel, où elle souhaite travailler avec les individus et les entreprises au développement du plein potentiel des employés et à l’utilisation optimale de ce potentiel par les employeurs.

Références

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1975). Beyond boredom and anxiety. San Francisco : Jossey-Bass.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow. The psychology of optimal experience. (1e éd.). New York : Harper Collins Publishers.

Nakamura, J. et Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2009). The concept of flow. Dans Snyder, C. R. et Lopez, S. J. (Ed.). Oxford handbook of positive psychology (2e éd.). New York: Oxford University Press. 89-105

Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Positive psychology, positive prevention, and positive therapy. Dans Snyder, C. R. et Lopez, S. J. (Ed.). Handbook of positive psychology (1e éd.). New York: Oxford University Press. 3-9.

 

 

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Pour prendre rendez-vous ou pour des informations sur les services de la Clinique Carrière – FSE/UQAM : http://cliniquecarriere.uqam.ca/

A propos de Louis Cournoyer 205 Articles
Professeur-chercheur (Counseling de carrière) / Directeur de la Clinique Carrière / Directeur des programmes de premier cycle en développement de carrière / Conseiller d'orientation et superviseur clinique Université du Québec à Montréal

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