Assessing Mental Toughness

I recently went to the ICF NYC Assessment Café, a stimulating event that showcased 8 very different assessments to the coaches in attendance. Having been immersed in personality assessment for many years, I was particularly intrigued by the MTQPlus as it homes in on specific aspects of personality that determine how we deal with stress and pressure, and how we can see change as an opportunity to grow and develop.

Psychological Mental Toughness is about being the best you can be, comfortable in your own skin and accepting of the fact that life can be challenging but full of opportunities as well as threats.

Mental Toughness describes the mind-set that we adopt and is closely related to qualities such as character, resilience and grit; Growth Mindset (Dweck); and Learned Optimism (Seligman). When applying the concept in highly competitive organizations it is important to be clear that it is not about being macho, domineering or aggressive.

Global research shows that Mental Toughness is a major factor in:

  • Performance – explains up to 25% of the variation in attainment
  • Positive Behavior – more engaged, positive and “can do” attitude
  • Wellbeing – more contentment and better stress management
  • Aspirations – more positive about opportunities and open to learning

Angela Wright presented MTQPlus at the ICF NYC event and says that this assessment “helps my clients identify what is holding them back: what may be preventing or hindering them from attaining wellbeing, leading a more positive life or performing at the highest levels”.

When she uses the MTQPlus with teams, Angela finds that unconscious behavioral patterns can be revealed and brought to the surface for discussion.  For example, in one team, Jane* scored highly on “Commitment” which means that she likes working to goals, makes commitments to others and does whatever it takes to keep her promises and achieve those goals. In the team setting, it was noticed that Jane was always the last one standing and that she often ended up being a rescuer for the team when fire-drills hit them.  Via a coached team conversation, the group realized that they needed to change this dynamic – before their rescuer themselves needed rescuing.

Like many assessments, the primary application of MTQPlus is to raise awareness and start a meaningful conversation that leads to insight and new actions.   What seems particularly interesting and relevant is its timely application to today’s world.

For coaches like me who work with clients in demanding, fast-paced and frequently changing environments the MTQPlus is worth investigating as an additional tool for your practice.   For more information contact Angela Wright.

For future ICF NYC Events click here 

*names have been changed