If you are not sure what Mental Toughness is all about, you can take a look at some of the articles I published previously on the subject here

I have been helping people develop their leadership capacity for just over thirty-five years now and a cornerstone of my work has always been around understanding the impact of our personality on our behaviours.

The first “approach” that I used (in the mid-eighties) to understanding personality was Transactional Analysis; in particular the PAC model and the notion of “Drivers”.

In 1992 I discovered MBTI and “Jungian Preferences” as a way of “modelling” our personality and then around 1999 I discovered Insights and their “colour / energy” version of Jung’s work.

MBTI and Insights work very well together; MBTI is more based on identifying personality preferences and “extrapolating” the corresponding “behavioural package” and Insights is more based on identifying behavioural preferences and “interpolating” personality preferences.

Albeit that the (sometimes frighteningly accurate) behavioural descriptions given by MBTI or Insights correspond to the personality “types” identified through their respective questionnaires, I always thought that was something missing; the idea that, “this is my personality; hence I behave like this” seemed too simple for me.

For many (quite possibly the majority) of people I have worked with, the “this is my personality; hence I behave like this” works perfectly and clearly helps people to understand how they can start to develop “behavioural flexibility”. There are others for whom there is clearly a discrepancy between the description of their personality and description of how they typically behave.

My current thinking is that Mental Toughness may well be part of the “something missing”; the missing link between personality and behaviour.

Mental Toughness is described as a “mindset” and often as a “can do” mindset .

If I have a “can do” mindset, then maybe there are behaviours that, according to my personality, should be “difficult” & “uncomfortable” for me, but are in fact, relatively easy.

If I take myself as an example, I am an INTP (I recently tested six on-line Jungian preferences indicators and they all said the same thing – INTP) and I am an Insights dominant Blue (have been for the last 20 years). Those with an INTP profile are often classified as a “Logician” which, apparently, puts me amongst the 3% of the population who are known for their brilliant theories and unrelenting logic – in fact, we are considered to be the most logically precise of all the personality types.

Logicians are described as solitary, and independent and not really suitable for corporate positions (I’m an independent consultant); we are imaginative and creative and excel in analysing how seemingly unrelated factors tie in with each other in ways that bewilder most other personality types.

On the down side we are not really “people people”, we can be quite withdrawn and private and somewhat insensitive.

As much as the description above fits me like a glove, I spend the majority of my life standing up in front of groups; presenting stuff, facilitating exercises, coaching and generally doing “unlike things” for an INTP. Not only that, but I am extremely comfortable with it and (so people tell me) very good at it.

I would be very interested in any thoughts, or even research, that you may have with regards to the impact of how mindset “comes between” personality and behaviours.

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