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What is Mental Toughness and Can it be Coached?

On April 7, 2020, just as the COVID-19 crisis was taking hold, Boston Search Group and Talent Sequencing, LLC collaborated 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)

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)

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

If you're interested in more, here's a link to the full webinar:

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