There is a thin line between Mental Toughness & Mental Roughness and the line is “awareness”
When coaching those with particularly high Mental Toughness; typically scores of 8 to 10 on the MTQ suite of questionnaires I always get them to investigate how they may come across to others – are they seen as mentally tough or they seen as mentally rough.
Firstly, what does high Mental Toughness look like
Those with high Life Control tend to believe they make a difference, as their cup is half-full (rather than half-empty) they see the solution rather than the problem and, for them, everything is possible.
Those with high Emotional Control tend to maintain poise and stay calm during a crisis, they are usually difficult to provoke or annoy and they only show the emotions and feelings they want to show.
Those with high Goal Orientation tend to like working towards clear, concrete targets & will spend time identifying KPI’s and the like before committing to showing what they can do.
Those with high Achievement Orientation tend prioritise their effort & choice of activities, they can be quite self-sacrificing and can maintain focus and concentration over long periods to achieve what they have committed to.
Those with high Risk Orientation tend to like challenge and are keen to stretch themselves, they will volunteer themselves when the opportunity arises and are happy in uncomfortable situations.
Those with high Learning Orientation tend to consciously apply and test what they learn, they learn from both successes & failures and have a kind of continuous improvement approach to life.
Those with high Confidence in Abilities tend to know when they are right and do not need anyone to validate their thoughts, they will not hesitate to use their skills and knowledge when needed and enjoy getting involved in discussions that are maybe off their subject area.
Those with high Interpersonal Confidence tend to stand their ground when challenged and will not let others dominate them, they take criticism and attacks in their stride and will often take the lead during presentations and meetings.
So, how might Mental Roughness manifest itself?
Those with high Life Control can be seen as micromanaging and unnecessarily taking over events & activities, their disciplined & structured approach can be perceived as being dogmatic & egocentric and wanting to get their own way.
Those with high Emotional Control, while being difficult to read can appear insensitive & disinterested, their overly calm attitude can be seen as distant & cold and they can be perceived has having little empathy.
Those with high Goal Orientation may be seen to be managing by numbers, seeming to focus on the “what” and missing the “how” with a kind of “lean & mean” approach.
Those with high Achievement Orientation may be seen as stubborn & blinkered and only concerned with achieving their personal deliverables. Their desire to achieve may lead to them being seen as “winners at all costs”.
Those with high Risk Orientation can be seen as reckless and taking on new opportunities without finishing the work in hand.
Those with high Learning Orientation can be seen as obsessed with continually identifying best practice and “self-flagellating” when things go wrong. Their “learning is in the details” approach can be seen as being pernickety and time wasting.
Those with high Confidence in Abilities can be seen as closed to the opinions & ideas of others and wanting to impose their own solutions. They can be so sure of themselves that they believe they are right; even when they are wrong.
Those with high Interpersonal Confidence can be seen as arrogant & bullying and intolerant of those who aren’t as confident themselves. Their assertiveness can be mistaken for aggressivity and riding roughshod over others.
Perception is in the eye of the beholder. We may think that we are being disciplined, determined, bold and assertive; however, if we are perceived as dogmatic, stubborn, reckless and arrogant, that is how others will treat us.
Being aware of the impact of your behaviours on others is essential in ensuring that you have the impact on people that you are looking for.
If you would like to work on your impact or the impact of those around you do not hesitate to contact me; I have been successfully helping people to increase their personal impact for over thirty-five years.
I help people to develop their interpersonal skills, usually within a leadership or teamwork context. If you are looking to develop your leadership, I might be able to help. I’ve been doing this for 35 years; roughly three and half thousand days of seminars, workshops, conferences, coaching, offsites, etc. – put back-to-back that makes almost ten “full” years.