How to develop Resilient Confident Organisations

What is Mental Toughness?
Mental Toughness describes the mind-set that every person adopts in everything they do. It is closely related to qualities such as character, resilience, grit, etc. It is defined as:

“A personality trait which determines, in large part, how people respond to challenge, stress and pressure, irrespective of their circumstances”.

Published research and case studies from around the world show that Mental Toughness is a major factor in:

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  • Performance – explaining up to 25% of the variation in performance in individuals
  • Positive Behaviour – more engaged, more positive, more “can do”
  • Wellbeing – more contentment, better stress management , less prone to bullying
  • Aspirations – more ambitious, prepared to manage more risk

Its origins lie in academia – understanding resilience – and in the world of sport where it is used to create champions.

It is important in almost all work applications. It applies to leaders, to managers and to employees at all levels – especially when recruiting young people fresh form university.

Research carried out under the direction of Professor Peter Clough of Manchester Metropitan University has identified the four key components of Mental Toughness. These are called the 4 Cs. This research has now been independently validated through studies in Canada, Italy as well as the UK.

Mental Toughness Scale

What this means … what does MTQ48 assess


Life Control – I really believe I can do it

Emotional Control – I can manage my emotions and the emotions of others


Goal Setting – I promise to do it – I like working to goals

Achieving – I’ll do what it takes to keep my promises and achieve my goals


Risk Taking –I will push myself – I am driven to succeed

Learning from Experience –even setbacks are opportunities for learning


In Abilities – I believe I have the ability to do it – or can acquire the ability

Interpersonal Confidence – I can influence others – I can stand my ground if needed.

How can we assess Mental Toughness?
We are also able to assess mental toughness in terms of these components in individuals and groups through a unique 48 item high quality psychometric measure. Available in Arabic it is normative which enables users to assess mental toughness before and after an event such as a training & development or coaching programme.

How can we develop Mental Toughness?
We can either help someone change their mental toughness through 5 types of development activities or we can show someone how to adopt the behaviours that a mentally tough person would adopt. Either way many of the benefits of developing mental toughness can be achieved. AQR has a programme of interventions which suits all applications.

In Summary
AQR’s work means that we now have:

  • The ability to define and describe an important aspect of our personality – Mental Toughness
  • A concept which is accessible to everyone and which helps to explain performance, wellbeing and behaviour
  • The first psychometric measure which measures an individual’s Mental Toughness – it is valid & reliable.
  • A good understanding of how to develop resilience and mental toughness

The result is a complete package which applies to every aspect of developing and maintaining human capital.

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