BY DOUG stRYCHARCZYk & pEtER CLOUGH
LeArninG ABoUt the personALitY trAits thAt infLUenCe mentAL toUGhness is A UsefUL ACtivitY for refLeCtion, sAYs CLive steeper
Even if you think you know what the phrase ‘Mental Toughness’ means, this book is worth reading. It has a good balance of academic- based thought and research blended with a pragmatic, easy to read style.
The content is well laid out, and you can read it in sections, without necessarily having to go from cover to cover. The first five chapters introducethe authors’ measure for mental toughness (an assessment tool) called MTQ48.
Chapters Six to Nine take you behind the scenes of MTQ48 and start the reader thinking about possible applications for mental toughness, both as a tool or in its component parts. The authors then begin to explore mental toughness in various applications as it relates to positive psychology, emotional intelligence, decision-making, fatigue, stress, motivation, coaching, leadership and talent management. A variety of workplaces where it can be used including education, sport, business, health, psychology and coaching, are explored. The remaining chapters analyse mental toughness from a number of valuable perspectives, which are useful for reflection. In particular for coaches, mentors and coaching supervisors, reading this book could provide some quality points for reflecting with your clients and possibly in self-reflection, especially if you are seeking to challenge and stretch yourself. The authors define the concept of Mental Toughness as ‘the personality trait, which determines in large part how people deal effectively with challenges, stressors, and pressures...irrespective of circumstance.’
Their model for mental toughness is built around the 4 Cs model - CHALLENGE: seeing challenge as an opportunity, CONFIDENCE: having high levels of self-belief, COMMITMENT: being able to stick to tasks, CONTROL: believing that you control your destiny.
Interestingly, the authors challenge some traditional thinking about people’s levels of mental toughness. This is a useful point for people in the coaching community to consider: how our own levels of mental toughness might influence our coaching.
Can mental toughness be developed? This question is dealt with well in Chapter 19 and I particularly liked the way that the authors considered aspects such as positive psychology, emotional intelligence and mindfulness as well as the significance of continuous learning. Overall, while a bit long and sometimes repetitious, there are none the less some useful concepts and tools within this book.
titLe: Developing Mental Toughness AUthor: Doug Strycharczyk, Peter Clough pUBLisher: Kogan Page pUBLiCAtion DAte: September 2015 priCe hArDBACk: £34.99 isBn no: 0749473800
Clive Steeper is an executive coach and coaching supervisor and has been a business leader for over 25 years. He now works internationally with many different corporations and fast-growth businesses. He received a Global Coaching Leadership Award in 2014 and is co-author of Cope with Change at Work; The Personality Workbook; Motivating Others; and Risk: All that Matters.www.clivesteeper.com