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  • Writer's pictureDan Squires

What is Mental Toughness and Can it be Coached?

Updated: Jul 11

Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan's Monthly Muse

On April 7, 2020, just as the COVID-19 crisis was taking hold, I collaborated with Boston Search Group, Fahrenheit Advisors, and Hogan Assessments to produce a webinar series on "Wartime Leadership at the Edge of a Downturn" to help leaders focus on factors most critical to weathering rapid change.

The first webinar in that series focused on exploring the concept of mental toughness. Panelists included, Dr. Ryne Sherman, Chief Science Officer at Hogan Assessments, Jeff Ertel, Managing Director at Fahrenheit Advisors, and myself.

The takeaways?

1. Scientifically, mental toughness can be defined by three measurable personality "sub-factors"

  • Emotional Control (the ability to respond to a range of challenges and demands with appropriate and effective behavior)

  • Confidence (self assurance based on one's unique qualities and abilities)

  • Competitiveness (strong desires for achievement and success)

Mental Toughness Diagram
Mental Toughness

2. The 3 personality factors are, in turn, directly related to 2 established, higher-order business competencies.

  • Resilience (the ability to tolerate and/or recover from challenges and setbacks)

  • Agility (the ability to think, understand, and move quickly and effectively)

Agile Leadership Spectrum
Agile Leadership

3. Assessment and coaching can help to address these qualities.

Assessment to Coaching Spectrum
Assessment to Coaching

Hit us up if you'd like to learn more.

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