Mental Toughness

MTQ48 provides a reliable and quick assessment of an individual’s ability to withstand pressure in a range of workplace environments. It measures mental toughness in terms of 4 core components – control, challenge, commitment and confidence.

What is Mental Toughness?

Mental Toughness refers to an individual’s resilience and an inner drive to succeed – particularly when the going is challenging. It explains why it is possible to place two individuals into the same working environment and to see that one finds it difficult to cope with pressure and one thrives.

Mental Toughness also illustrates a strong link between Stress Management and Peak Performance Development. The latter cannot be achieved without the former.

Research in the Psychology Department, at the University of Hull, under the direction of Dr. Peter Clough C.Psych. identified 4 key components of Mental Toughness:

  • Control
  • Challenge
  • Commitment
  • Confidence

In 2002 Dr Peter Clough and Keith Earle developed a reliable and valid questionnaire that measured these four different performance characteristics – MTQ48.

Use & Applications

The key issues around Mental Toughness that individuals and organisations need to understand are:

  • What causes one person to succumb and another to thrive?
  • Can we identify people’s strengths and weaknesses in these areas?
  • Can we “toughen up” individuals to enable them to handle stressors more effectively?
  • How can we support individuals better with their specific needs?

By understanding these issues, and applying the principles of Mental Toughness in the workplace, organisations are able to:

  • Develop strategies and tactics to help individuals perform under pressure.
  • Help managers get the best from their people.
  • Recruit more effectively around these key criteria.

Applications & Context

This tool is particularly applicable for Senior Management, Entrepreneurs & Business Owners and people who are placed in stressful situations, or manage those who are.

There are three major areas where this measure will add considerable value.

Firstly as a tool in RECRUITMENT & SELECTION – enabling the best fit with a critical area for good job performance. It is now widely used in Assessment and Development Centres.

It is also invaluable in COACHING/DEVELOPMENT and in PERSONAL COUNSELLING – either to help people identify and cope with problems or to show people how they can be more effective in key areas.

The challenge lies in identifying what might be the causes of stress and pressure for each individual and to help the individual to become aware of these. Awareness leads to understanding, which, in turn, can lead to positive action – and improved performance.

Finally, in ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, where the organisation and one’s peers/managers become aware of the potential causes of stress and pressure they are more able to plan and to act to minimise their impact.