Developing Mental Toughness: Improving Performance, Wellbeing and Positive Behaviour in Others


Mental toughness is measured by how effectively individuals respond to stress, pressure and challenge. Developing Mental Toughness clearly and effectively explains the concept of mental toughness and traces its development from sports psychology into organizational development, health and education.

This book covers the key skills and techniques required to recognize, use and develop mental toughness in others including evaluation, ROI and improving attention spans. The authors...

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Developing Mental Toughness: Improving Performance, Wellbeing and Positive Behaviour in Others

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Mental toughness is measured by how effectively individuals respond to stress, pressure and challenge. Developing Mental Toughness clearly and effectively explains the concept of mental toughness and traces its development from sports psychology into organizational development, health and education.

This book covers the key skills and techniques required to recognize, use and develop mental toughness in others including evaluation, ROI and improving attention spans. The authors consider mental toughness in relation to education, working in teams and career planning, and they discuss the four core pillars of mental toughness:

-Challenge: seeing challenge as an opportunity
-Confidence: having high levels of self-belief
-Commitment: being able to stick to tasks
-Control: believing that people control their own destiny

Written for coaches looking to improve the performance of individuals and teams, Developing Mental Toughness contains practical guidance on techniques that will provide skills for responding to and harnessing the effects of stress and pressure.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"If there were any doubt about the importance of mental toughness and its effect on performance, this book dispels them thoroughly and convincingly...The range of contexts in which mental toughness can be used is illustrated by the many case studies that are described here, but its value in developing leadership and management effectiveness is the area in which it has particular value. Practicing leaders and managers, especially those currently being developed, will benefit from diagnosis of their mental toughness, and from learning how they can use appropriate strategies to enhance their capability."
 --Peter Cheese, Chair of ILM 

"Mental Toughness has emerged as an important concept which can be used to help individuals understand their own capacity, strengths and weakness and helps coaches, managers and leaders understand the problems individuals and organizations may face when dealing with change. This timely book is very welcome - it describes in a very practical way an idea which appears to have almost unlimited application."--David Eva, unionlearn and Chairman of CWP 

"I have worked with the authors for the past 5 years and have seen at first-hand what difference understanding mental toughness can make in developing a truly high performing organization. This is a timely and valuable addition to the reading list for anyone involved in people management or people development particularly in times of change and challenge."
--Neil Scales, CEO and Director General of Merseytravel 

"Twenty-eight papers explore the study of how effectively individuals respond to stress, pressure, and challenge and consider how mental toughness can improve performance for the individual and the organization." --Journal of Economic Literature 

"This is a fantastic resource for anyone using Mental Toughness coaching and for those who want to deepen their knowledge of the concept and its uses. You will find sound research and very useful case studies, examples of the broad range of practical applications and an insight into why Mental Toughness plays such a key role in empowering both individuals and teams. …A great read." --Aliya Ali-Afzal, Associate Director Executive MBA Careers, Hult International Business School

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780749463779
  • Publisher: Kogan Page, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,344,520
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Clough
is the former Head of Psychology at the University of Hull and is recognized as a leading applied academic authority in this field. He is co-developer of the mental toughness model and the MTQ48 Mental Toughness Questionnaire.  He has also contributed to Psychometrics in Coaching and Leadership Coaching (both published by Kogan Page).

Doug Strycharczyk is owner and Managing Director for AQR Ltd., an organization that has been instrumental in the adoption of mental toughness in new sectors and is now one of Europe's fastest growing test publishers and distributors.

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Table of Contents

About the contributors ix
Acknowledgements xii

1 Introduction to the concept of MT
The 4 Cs model
Four fallacies about MT
Defining and describing mental toughness
The beginnings

2 The importance of stress
Research strands
An applied perspective on mental toughness, stress management and peak performance
The AQR stress model

3 A brief history of mental toughness
Constructs relating to mental toughness
Physiological toughness
Mental toughness itself
The development of the MTQ48 and the 4 Cs model

4 Developing the model and the MTQ48
Preliminary field research
Development of the four-factor model

5 Mental toughness and the MTQ48
MTQ48 report types
The future

6 Control
Control – defined and applied
Key psychological perspectives related to control
Emotional control

7 Commitment
Commitment – defined and applied
The psychological context
Goal setting

8 Challenge
Challenge – defined and applied
The psychological context of challenge
Mental toughness and risk

9 Confidence
Confidence – defined and applied
The psychological context for confidence

10 Innovative insights into the education and development of young people
The positive impact of mental toughness
The link to productivity
(Anti-)social behaviour
Other considerations

11 Mental toughness and its application in secondary education
Introduction and background
Initial engagement – Targeted Youth Support Pathfinder
Deep Support programme
Firm Foundations programme

12 Mental toughness in the complex world of further education colleges
The college sector in Scotland
General approaches to improving retention and attainment
From the general to the specific
Working on mental toughness with part-time and work-based learners
In conclusion

13 Applying mental toughness to career guidance and career planning

14 Mental toughness and the world of work
The most valuable outcomes for mental toughness activity
Applications in the workplace

15 Mental toughness and team working
Organization development and culture
Team working behaviour and individual mental toughness
Developing team toughness

16 The world of work – a case study from a major call centre
Training sessions – the core interventions
The results

17 Mental toughness in sport

18 Health and social factors relating to mental toughness
Mental toughness and health
Social responsibility and mental toughness

19 Coaching for mental toughness
Mental toughness
Coaching for professional development
Evidence-based research
Coaching for mental toughness
The directive to non-directive spectrum
Coaching for mental toughness: an integrated approach
The what-ifs: some tips

20 Fatigue and mental toughness
What is fatigue and why is it important?
How does mental toughness impact on the development of fatigue?
Understanding your own process of fatigue: three recommendations for action

21 Can mental toughness be developed? Psychologist/practitioner perspective
The psychologist’s perspective
A practitioner’s perspective

22 Positive thinking
Making affirmations
Turning negatives into positives

23 Visualization
Visualizing success
Guided imagery
A psychological context of confidence development
Positive psychology and mental toughness

24 Relaxation: A physiotherapist’s perspective
Learning the technique
A systematic approach
The role of fitness
The role of diet

25 Attentional control
Understanding attentional control
Attentional control and mental toughness
Some simple tips, tools and techniques that work
Interruptions and distractions

26 Goal setting
Important aspects of goal setting
A psychological perspective on goal setting

27 Research using the MTQ48
Testing the MTQ48
Other studies using the MTQ48/MTQ18

28 A summary and thoughts about ‘what’s next?’
A global perspective
The psychological perspective – where does mental toughness fit into the rest of the picture?
Finally, the practitioner’s needs – product development
What are we really saying about sensitive people?


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