A leader needs to be mentally tough to have the strength and resolve to set the course for their team and not be distracted or diverted by setbacks, detractors or alternative opportunities.
When coaching leaders I build on their mental toughness with the MTQPlus psychometric measure, which can reveal the need for a general uplift or a specific development in one key area of mental toughness such as emotional management.
Alternatively, one common situation for many leaders is that they are too mentally tough. They can be too self-focused and inflexible at the expense of not tuning into their people.
Although this approach can be successful in the short term, it is often ultimately destructive because it can leave the team feeling bruised and disengaged, leading to fall in productivity and rise in staff turnover.
Leaders need to address the balance between their high mental toughness and low social intelligence.
In this situation my role as their coach is to help leaders to better understand themselves and the impact their actions have on their people and the team culture. They need to become much more self-aware and improve their listening, rapport building and communication skills.
These are the skills that US author and psychologist Daniel Goleman has labeled emotional and social intelligence and in this ‘oldie but goldie’ Harvard Business Review video he outlines what these labels mean and why they are important.
Although it takes about ten minutes to watch it is really useful if you are a leader or an aspiring leader. View video
For more on developing mental toughness in leaders and social intelligence contact us.