Mental Toughness describes the mind-set that every person adopts in everything they do and it is critically important and valuable for everyone at two levels.
Firstly, it explains why people and organisations behave the way they do. Personality can be defined as an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting and one’s personality can explain individual differences and how individuals act in specific situations.
Mental Toughness is a personality trait which describes mindset. It examines what is in the mind of the individual to explain the way why they behave the way they do. So there is an obvious link between mindset and behaviour.
One can describe mindset as both the pre-cursor to behaviour and the explanation for much behaviour.
Secondly, research and case studies from around the world show that Mental Toughness is a major factor in most of the important outcomes for individuals and organisations:
- Performance – explaining up to 25% of the variation in performance in individuals.
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.
- Wellbeing – more contented.
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.
- Positive Behaviour – more engaged.
Mental Tough people are more positive, have more “can do”, respond positively to change and adversity, show better attendance, more likely contribute to a positive culture and accept responsibility and to volunteer for new opportunities and activities.
- Openness to Learning – more aspirational.
Mentally Tough people are more ambitious and prepared to manage more risk.
Being mentally tough brings a variety of benefits for individuals and organisations. Research conducted worldwide has concluded that those with higher levels of mental toughness, as indicated through the MTQ48 measure, enjoy the following;
- Better performance – it explains up to 25% of the variation in workplace performance.
- Improved positivity – adoption of more of a “can do” approach which leads to greater rapport and connectivity with colleagues.
- Greater wellbeing – more contentment and better stress management.
- Change management – a calmer and lower stress response to organisational change.
- Increased aspirations – greater ambition and confidence in achieving targets and a greater willingness to persevere in order to do so.
For these reasons being mentally tough for an individual or an organisation is immensely important, especially in times of great change. Leaders, aspiring leaders and those working in stressful, unforgiving occupations or in situations of uncertainty or dynamic change need to be mentally tough.
Organisations whether they be in the education, health, government, corporate or public sectors need to be resilient and mentally set and ready for change.