Mental Toughness is a personality trait that determines one’s ability to perform consistently under stress and pressure. Mental toughness is a personality trait which embraces in a very practical way, ideas such as mindset, character, resilience and grit.
Research shows that Mental Toughness in Education has been linked to a number of key factors such as academic engagement, valuing schoolwork, coping effectively, thriving on pressure, attainment, wellbeing, classroom behavior, attendance and transition change.
Mental Toughness is a combination of Resilience and Confidence;
- Resilience – the ability to bounce back from setbacks and failures
- Confidence – the ability to take advantages of situations and opportunities
This enables you to “survive and thrive.”
It is a state of mind and as such can be developed and improved in the same way as a physical state. It has its origins in sport but in recent years has become recognised as a critically important trait in education, health and community services and in the corporate sector.
What are the Benefits for Individuals?
There are four key proven benefits in being mentally tough which relate to:
Performance – mentally tough people deliver more, work more purposefully, show greater commitment to purpose and are more competitive. This translates into better output, delivery on time and on target and better attendance. Mentally Tough people achieve an uplift of 25% in performance over others.
Behaviour – mentally tough people are more positive, have a more “can do” mindset, respond positively to change and adversity, are more likely to contribute to a positive culture, accept responsibility and seek new responsibilities, opportunities and activities.
Wellbeing – mentally tough people show better stress management, better attendance, are less likely to develop mental health issues, sleep better and are less prone to bullying. They can take stress in their stride.
Change – mentally tough people generally possess a growth mindset and so cope well in situations of personal or organisational change and uncertainty.
What are the Benefits for Schools?
A mentally tough teaching staff is more resilient, with a more positive culture and perform at a higher level. To be able to create a mentally tough, high performance and positive culture within their classrooms and students, it is important for teachers to be mentally tough themselves. Mental Toughness is an important life skill that is learned through experimentation and observation of the behaviour and emotions of the people closest to them. As key role models for students, it is important to develop mental toughness within teachers. It has been shown that teachers may have a causal effect on factors such as student absences and grade progression.
How can Mental Toughness be Developed?
The benefit of implementing a Mental Toughness in Education program and the MTQ48 assessment is that the process and the results provide a starting point and a clear and common framework and language. This encourages reflection, conversation and visibility around a person’s mindset towards Mental Toughness and hopefully a commitment to change. This requires using appropriate training and workshops focusing on strategies such as positive thinking, goal setting, attentional control or visualisation to change habits and routines to achieve a sustained improvement in mental toughness and the related benefits in modelling and developing mental toughness in students.
What is MTQ48?
Mental Toughness can be measured through an online, well-validated psychometric tool, MTQ48, which provides a foundation for reflection and suggestions for further development. The MTQ48 is a reliable and well-validated psychometric measure, which is easy to use, the results are simple to understand and is quick to complete taking 8-10 minutes online.
MTQ48 produces three main reports:
Development Report for use by the individual in learning how to develop their Mental Toughness.
Coaching Report for use by the school principal or L&D facilitator to help the individual develop their Mental Toughness.
Assessor Report provides interview questions specific to the individual for use by the hiring manager in recruitment and selection.
What Does MTQ48 Measure?
The MTQ48 identifies 4 components within mental toughness namely Control, Commitment, Challenge and Confidence, defined as follows:
Control – your self-esteem and emotional management
You believe you shape what happens to you and you can manage your emotions when doing it.
Commitment – your reliability and focus
Describes to what extent you will “make promises” in the form of goals, targets and priorities and whether you will keep those promises.
Challenge – your drive and personal growth
Describes to what extent you see challenges, change, adversity and variety as opportunities or as threats.
Confidence – your “self-belief”
Describes the extent to which you believe you have the ability to successfully complete tasks and situations and influence others when needed.
The control and commitment scales reflect Resilience while challenge and confidence reflect Confidence, the “survive and thrive traits within Mental Toughness.
MTQ48 can be used for:
- Leadership programs
- Change management
- Personal development within L+D programs
- Stress management
- Career transition.
For more on mental toughness in education contact us.