Mental Toughness and the World of Work

Mental Toughness and the World of Work

As you may be aware, Bakjac Consulting is now a Mental Toughness Partner.

When I am speaking to clients, they often ask me, “Is there any proof that the programmes you provide raise individual mental toughness and if so, does this mean performance improves as well?”

I often quote some research outlined in the book, Developing Mental Toughness by Peter Clough and Doug Strycharczyk (Mental Toughness UK gurus) who demonstrate the impact of a 3 month mental toughness training programme directed at 28 managers within a large call centre in the UK. The objective was to establish to what extent structured mental toughness development was able to change the mental toughness of a group of managers.

Data about individual mental toughness was collected via the Mental Toughness Questionnaire (MTQ48) before and after the programme to establish if the training had made any difference in mental toughness following the implementation of training. They were tested alongside an experimental group who were not offered any mental toughness interventions.

The outcome showed that there was a main effect for those who undertook the training in comparison with those who did not. “This was able to highlight the importance of structured programmes and the use of applied psychological skills training”. (Clough, Strycharczyk 2014)

When overall Mental Toughness changes were reviewed between the experimental and control group before and after the training period, the experimental group showed a significant improvement in their mental toughness.

The mental toughness development programme involved three parts:

In the first part (consisting of two sessions), participants described current stressors challenges and pressures and a model of mental toughness was then introduced.

In the second part of the programme (covering three sessions) participants practised a range of psychological skills and techniques for developing mental toughness.

The final part consisted of one session where a number of studies were used to highlight the 4Cs model and embed learning and concluded with a series of action planning activities so that participants had a clear personal development path to engage in after training.

Employee’s experiences of working in call centres are known to affect wellbeing, satisfaction and anxiety. The techniques used in training drew upon a number of applied psychological skills for developing emotional and attentional control. The study provides evidence for the inclusion of such psychological skills training in an attempt to improve the psychological capital of individuals. In an industry known for its high turnover and burnout – consider the benefits of implementation of mental toughness programmes for staff and managers.

The question is does this then translate to performance? Employee feedback surveys showed those who did the mental toughness training had a higher belief in their ability to carry out their work effectively. They rated themselves higher in job satisfaction and absenteeism was also reduced.

So what could mental toughness training do in your organisation?

Contact Michelle Bakjac at Bakjac Consulting on 0412047590 to find out more.