Stephanie: If you don’t really believe you can do it, you find the light. How we perceive things in life greatly impacts the thoughts and behaviors that follow – for better or for worse. And they had one of those mini celebrity moments where we took some pictures together and it was fantastic. I love that. This is great news because all athletes can benefit from mental toughness training. Gaj: So one of the interesting things is, are they all bad? There are varying degrees of mental toughness. Gaj: Oh, great question. Maybe it allows you the time to reflect and to think about what has been happening rather than being on the front foot in all situations. Do you believe you are genuinely in control of your life? And so, went there, took my family, had some wonderful experiences working in various international consultancies and then set up Kompass in sort of 2013, and I’ve grown that and now sort of operating across sort of four or five continents at the moment, which is great. “Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one.” – Bobby Knight. And so within a week we were having a conversation in Dubai. An athlete’s level of mental toughness directly affects their success which makes it a very important tool to an athlete. We constantly apply blanket rules. The Hull researchers carried out two studies to show how mental toughness was related to performance and cognitive appraisal. It’s hardly surprising therefore that the issue of mental health in athletes is not exactly top of the sports health agenda. So what’s one person’s clutter is another person’s order. So tell us a little bit about it. There might be situations where you’re trying to observe people at a client discussion where you want to step back and kind of then be more of a passenger. There has been increased research into the area because “Mental toughness appears to be one of the most important psychological constructs related to successful sport performance” (Crust & Keegan, 2010). This conversation of mental toughness when it’s more than three times more impactful than academic ability and academic performance?’ So that started to become a driver for them. Confidence is massively correlated to being narcissistic. This provides the sport psychologist or performance psychologist with incredible insight into how to assist this performer. Tell us a bit about the model. If you’re an athlete who wants to learn how to stop performance anxiety quickly, be poised, calm and in control during those “critical moments”, learn more about The Composed Athlete!. So if a leader understands what their people are thinking, then they have a much more stronger ability to build and influence those thoughts which they influence their feelings and influence their behaviour in the right way. But that’s kind of one size fits all, isn’t it? Gaj: So somebody around that needs to have a mindset that really says, ‘Well, what is the impact of me demonstrating to other people that I am not delivering on my promises? Because that support is something that I could get from my manager, could be resources or budget that I need to have allocated, maybe it’s some technology that could make my life a bit easier, maybe it’s even just the customer that needs to have some clarifications made about what this challenge is and what it means for them.’. Rather, it influenced finishing time, meaning without mental toughness, finish times would have been slower. They come in, fluff around with some papers, they are perhaps late to meetings, they don’t necessarily value the time for themselves and other people, they don’t necessarily deliver on time in terms of deadlines, they see those as movable feasts that can be manipulated. How are you helping me and supporting me in being able to do this? Gaj: So the words are, ‘I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. Gaj: So they’re going to include sadism. Stephanie: Not letting it take over whatever the context is, take over and overwhelm you. It’s going to shake the world of training-. Gaj: Yeah. So how important is that then to an overall picture of mental toughness? I deliver on what I promise I’m going to deliver on. As far as training programs go. Stephanie: Yeah, that’s right. And one of the other things which is interesting and I was reading about actually a couple of days ago, is something called activation energy, which is this idea that when you focus on a task and it’s a problem, if you actually do things around you that allow you to focus on that task with the first three to four minutes, it actually gives you a higher chance of completing that task. What would it look like for example, if I was low commitment or one of my team is or my team as a whole, sort of skews towards like commitment? It’s complex. Jennifer Heistand at Stillpoint Performance takes an outdated model of performance coaching and turns it on its head. And I think that’s part of the interesting challenge here is that we’re all different. Up to 75% of the body’s weight is made up of water; thus, staying hydrated is an important component of increased performance and staying on top of your mental game. Gaj: Absolutely. We as humans do this, right? Jim Loehr, a well-known sports psychologist and author of many mental toughness books, describes mental toughness as follows: Mental toughness is the ability to consistently perform to the upper range of your talent and skill, regardless of competitive circumstances. Gaj applies a Model of Mental toughness developed by AQR that identifies 4 Critical Components to mental toughness, Find out what the ‘4 Cs are. Gaj: Supposedly they’re actually increasing it to the dark tetra. Mental toughness isn’t a quality people are born with. And it was interesting, I was listening to a song on the way here to the studio and the song is a Motown song from The Temptations, My Girl-. This means you need to keep pushing through and continue going even though your body is in pain and your mind is telling you to stop. A couple of months ago, Florence’s paper was published looking at this meta-analysis. And so what we tend to find with a lot of low to medium performers is that the way they look at challenge is very different to how a high performer looks at challenge. af TEC Live - Leadership Insights øjeblikkeligt på din tablet, telefon eller browser - download ikke nødvendigt. That’s more like it! I love that. Pre Shot Routines – A Great Example. I’m going to face some reality around this and what do I need in terms of support to allow me to meet this challenge? I mean, it’s a terrible thing to think about. So if we demonstrate low confidence in certain environments, that then has an impact on other people around us and they therefore react in a particular way. Mental toughness and affect intensity were found to be unrelated. And to get a sense of that, they started looking at academic ability versus these components of mental toughness in terms of success and happiness. Being mentally tough involves continuing to persevere through the more difficult times in performance. Research has shown that Mental Toughness is 3 times more impactful than academic ability and performance in terms of success and happiness. Gaj: Yeah, so there are probably a number of things that a leader can do. So you work out what is the energy that I need to activate a positive mindset to overcome this challenge and increase the amount of energy I would need to be distracted, which is kind of interesting. When I’ve been listening to you talk about this, is choice is really a big part of it that I’m hearing you saying. “Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one.” – Bobby Knight. They might say, ‘Well, if I do this, what am I going to get from this exchange? And so-. If I could change one thing today about how I interact with you guys, what is it going to be that’s going to change the opportunity for you to achieve the results that you want?’. Gaj is a psychologist and a leadership and career specialist as well as a keynote speaker. It’s going to gel well with some people. Hall also parsed the data to see which components of mental toughness most influence performance and what role mental skills and “hardiness” play. When it’s cold outside, I’m in the month of May.’, Gaj: And this mindset, to choose your reality, to overcome a problem or a challenge by saying, ‘I’m going to turn the problem into an opportunity,’ we use that word probortunity-. Gaj: My pleasure. So that can be quite helpful. In this podcast, Gaj applies four critical components of the Model of Mental Toughness developed by AQR. Very interesting. Gaj: A high performer looks at the opportunity and they look at it a couple of ways. Impact of mental toughness on performance, continuing to persevere through the more difficult times in performance. So if we get a sense of what is actually the thought that is taking place in the heads of our people, that can help us to understand what’s going on. A lot of it has been revolving around this work around mental toughness and partly that’s around how do we get people from where they are to where they want to be. The problem, however, is that without specifying, or operationalizing the variable “mental,” we have no way of really knowing what we are trying to measure. Gaj: No, I think I’d put a post up on the Life Of An Entrepreneur and that had been observed by a few people and as I was paying for the bill, the individual had-. But if we really want change and we want students in particular or employees to have that change and to buy into that change, we are going to have to go deep. What have you done since then? This is great news because all athletes can benefit from mental toughness training. So what can we do to positively manipulate the people in our teams, our customers and our shareholders? We make promises all the time and I think it’s this interesting language we use in corporations where we say accountability. And one of the big frustrations that a lot of employees face and one of the things that comes out continuously in these engagement surveys that are coming out each year is the perception of the lack of support from their leaders. That’ll never happen again, but it was great. But what exactly is mental toughness — and how does an athlete develop it? Learn Mental Game Strategies to Improve Composure in Sports! And what they found is that academic ability accounts for about 7% of your chance. A key development has been the development of a questionnaire to assess mental toughness that can be used to assess its influence in experimental studies. We use the analogy of being a bus driver or a passenger and I think in a lot of ways sometimes we choose the role of a passenger and sometimes it’s okay to do that. Hall found that mental toughness greatly influenced subjects' finishing times, and that among the variables influencing performance (fitness, weather, and nutrition), mental toughness … Mental Toughness is a … In this regard, following his conceptualization of mental toughness, Loehr (1986) constructed the Psychological Performance Inventory (PPI). So yes, you’ve given me a goal, you’ve given me a target to achieve, but what’s your stake in this? Gaj: Yeah, and happy. It’s just going to be cruisey. Firstly is to understand and to explain the situation and to get a real sense of what people are feeling and thinking. So let’s look at narcissism and this is about the sense that I can do everything and it’s about me and the sense of ego and confidence. So the model itself was created by an independent group of researchers out of the UK called AQR. Poor concentration is the major reason why athletes choke and get stuck in performance slumps. They happened to be there in a conference. There is a belief that mental toughness and mental health are contradictory in elite sport . I do believe you have the knowledge, skills and abilities to do your job and if you don’t, do you have the knowledge to find out what those things are? Stephanie: This is game-changing, isn’t it? Stephanie: No, it’s okay. Some people are going to walk away, they’re not going to be interested. Stephanie: That’s good. Because if I’ve got a team and they’ve got various levels of confidence, various levels of insight, what’s the risk of taking one approach for the whole team? Stephanie: So let’s talk about some of the other elements of mental toughness then. It is about not giving up even though you are struggling and seeing a … Mental toughness (MT) is an umbrella term that entails positive psychological resources, which are crucial across a wide range of achievement contexts and in the domain of mental health. So in 2008, I went to the desert in the Middle East, was really taken by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision, 2020 vision at the time, which placed three out of the top five key pillars for the growth for the country as people related, which I’d never seen before. Thank you for having me on. And so what we tend to find is that in the leadership levels, that one in 10 according to the research, one in 10 people demonstrate these psychopathic tendencies. Over the past several years, coaches and athletes alike have started to realize So actually I don’t need my emails right now, I’m going to focus on this task. Stephanie: Is that kind of how you frame it? This is phenomenal.’. Now, if you are narcissistic with the single intention of helping yourself and yourself only, agreed, it is perhaps not the best strategy to use as a leader. Gaj: Yeah, so emotional intelligence in a lot of ways is really connected to the control piece and we have a particular scale factor there called emotional control. If you’re an athlete who wants to learn how to stop performance anxiety quickly, be poised, calm and in control during those “critical moments”, learn more about The Composed Athlete!. Stephanie: So it’s about being intentional, isn’t it? Gaj: Absolutely. In Gestalt psychology, do you want to get too deep. Stephanie: And how does a high performer look at it? One question that is commonly thrown around in conversations centering around sport performance is how much of sport success is “mental?” Most people think this number is quite high, sometimes even suggesting close to 100%. But if you’re not convinced that that’s going to be the case, it’s a much harder sell, and this is what we tend to find. All rights reserved. When athletes “see” challenges instead of seeing threats, their mind and body flow in synchrony and often the athlete improves mental toughness and reaches his or her full athletic potential as a result. Research has shown that mental toughness is 3 times more impactful than academic ability and performance in terms of success and happiness. At this point, they need to be mentally tough and push themselves through the wall if they are to complete the event. So in the same way we need to look at what is the buffet of options, buffet, buffet-, Gaj: Of options that we are going to have to use to make sure that we are a little bit more targeted in our approach-. And whether you’re a leader, whether it’s about self-leadership, leading a team, leading an organisation, we inherently are bad at creating spaces for ourselves to think and reflect, we’re caught up in all this stuff that’s happening around us. Gaj, that was really good and interesting conversation. It doesn’t mean you’re losing control, but it just might mean that you’re not being as assertive as you need to be. How Does Mental Health Affect Work Performance? And at 2:00 in the morning, I wrote an email to the publishers to saying, ‘Can I please meet with these people? And so that was really interesting from that perspective. Is there’s a significant risk and the risk is that our personalities are so different that once we actually get to a point where we are pushing little buttons of our personality, we don’t necessarily as leaders realise that when that button is pushed it is having an impact on another set of personalities. According to the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety alone cost global economy approximately one trillion dollars annually due to lost productivity.. I gleaned from his tweet above: Mental Toughness Is A Skill Which Can Be Developed – “Mental toughness is the ability” Mental Toughness Is The Antidote To Adversity – “to face adversity” Mental Toughness Is The Antidote To Failure – “failure” Athletes, coaches, and sport psychologists have consistently implicated mental toughness as one of the most important psychological characteristics related to success in sports. It’s not really talked about in this way. Gaj: Been doing some really interesting things, I think. This photo shows Kenyan runner Japhet Koech running the Edinburgh Marathon in 2016. So with all of that in mind, as a leader, if I’m looking at my team and I think there’s a challenging mental toughness and it might be shown by the way that the team responds to setbacks, that there’s a setback, they’ll take it to heart or it really throws everyone’s confidence because it was a big setback. The open and closed questions about mental toughness then generate scores for the five areas of mental toughness; Motivation, Emotions, Thoughts, Unity and Focus are all subcomponents of MT. Whenever I am asked to defend this position – that mental toughness and mental health are not the same – I use the same example. And in other situations, we do want to be driving our destiny and not blaming things like the economy or the mood of the CEO or what the reserve bank has decided to do that month. And so just being mindful of the mindfulness training and what is the impact on children and ensuring that we’re not giving a blanket approach that is too deep. : a psychological barrier where their bodies seize up and they feel like they cannot go on. In every sport, your ability to focus on what's important and block out everything else is one of the primary keys to performance excellence. Yes, I know I have the knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve this challenge but I also need the right support to enable this to happen. Mental toughness is "Having the natural or developed psychological edge that enables you to: generally, cope better than your opponents with the many demands (competition, training, lifestyle) that sport places on a performer; specifically, be more consistent and better than your opponents in remaining determined, focused, confident, and in control under pressure." So for example, shut down your Outlook or turn off your computer because you know it’s going to take you four minutes to boot up your computer.