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Understanding students and building Mental Toughness

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1 Understanding students and building Mental Toughness
Teacher Skill 05: Understanding students and building Mental Toughness 1

2 Teacher Skill 05: Understanding students and building Mental Toughness
OBJECTIVES Consideration of: What Mental Toughness is Why it is important in schools The way that Mental Toughness is measured How it can be used The opportunity for you to try the Mental Toughness measure

3 1. What is Mental Toughness? - A Definition
“Mental Toughness is the quality which determines in large part how people deal with …… challenge, stress and pressure ……..irrespective of prevailing circumstances” Mental Toughness (MT) helps us to understand why one person succeeds & another struggles when the pressure is on. Measuring a person’s MT allows us to develop approaches to support them to perform better.

4 2. Why is Mental Toughness (MT) Important?
For students, MT impacts on: Performance it explains up to 25% of the variation in individual performance Behaviour. Students with high MT: are more engaged, are more positive and have a more “can do” attitude Wellbeing. Students with high MT: are more content, have better stress management , experience less bullying

5 Summary for the student
Improved Performance High MT results in ….. High MT Improved Behaviour Improved Wellbeing B C

6 As a result of A, B and C Resultant outcomes for students are….
Improved aspirations Students are more ambitious and prepared to manage themselves better Increased retention Students are more likely to stay with courses and there is reduced drop-out Better employability Students are more likely to get a job and to get the job they want

7 For you as a teacher You will find that:
More motivated and engaged students: Makes your job a lot easier Reduces student conflict Improves relationships with students Enables you to teach more Improves your job satisfaction

8 3. The way that Mental Toughness is measured
The 4 Cs model of Mental Toughness devised by Dr Peter Clough from the University of Hull in the UK following extensive research. Challenge Confidence Commitment Control

9 Commitment Lower scores Higher scores Commitment
Intimidated by goals and measures - they induce paralysis Goals become something which appears overpowering Unwilling to make an effort or give up something less important Allow themselves to be easily distracted Like goals and measures – these describe what success looks like Goals are translated into something which is achievable Prepared to do what it takes – prioritise effort Maintain focus Commitment Measures how we respond to working towards specific goals and targets. It reflects both “stickability”, keeping promises. It is this type of commitment that keeps us going in the face of adversity.

10 Control This has two components
Control of Life Control of Emotions Control Measures how we deal with complexity and multi-tasking – particularly when others are watching us. If we feel in control of our life and our emotions we are more likely to take the view that we can achieve irrespective of circumstance. Hence its contribution to resilience. This scale has two component sub-scales: Life Control Emotional Control

11 Control of Life Control of Life Control Believe things happen to them
Lower scores Higher scores Believe things happen to them Find it hard to do more than one thing at a time Will tend to respond to the last person who pressures them Believe they can make a difference Comfortable when asked to do several things at a time Good at planning & time management Prepared to work hard Control of Life A measure of self worth. Indicates the extent to which we believe we shape what happens to us ... or not. High scorers believe they can control many aspects of their lives, that they can make a difference and won’t be thwarted. Often described as self efficacy. This describes the inner belief that lies at the heart of the “can do” approach.

12 Control of Emotions Control of Emotions Control
Lower scores Higher scores Feel things happen to them Don't deal well with setbacks – get “down” through to “lose it” Show emotions when provoked Anxious Manage their response when others challenge Good at controlling emotions Difficult to provoke or annoy Do not appear anxious Control of Emotions High scorers control emotions better, keep anxieties in check and don’t reveal their emotional states to others. They manage what they let others see. Note that this doesn’t mean that they don’t experience emotions.

13 Challenge Challenge Lower scores Higher scores
Don't like sudden changes Don't like shocks Fear of failure Avoid effort Intimidated by challenges Like challenge Easily bored – will seek change Provoke change Like problem solving Work hard Challenge Measures how see challenge and change (and adversity & setback).Do we perceive this as opportunity ... or do we see it as a threat? Those who score highly here may enjoy or like dealing with difficult or challenging situations – they will respond positively to change.

14 Confidence This has two components
Control in Abilities Interpersonal Confidence Confidence Measures the extent to which we have self belief to see through to a conclusion difficult tasks which can be beset with setbacks. This scale has two component sub scales: Confidence in Abilities Interpersonal Confidence

15 Confidence in Abilities
Low scores High scores Produce minimal responses in letters, memos, etc Will be reluctant to express a view in discussion or debate Will be reluctant to ask questions “in case it makes me look stupid” Happy to provide full responses to questions Don't need others to tell them they can do it or to encourage them. Happily to engage even if it takes them into the unknown Confidence in Abilities A measure of self esteem, identifying the extent to which you feel worthwhile and in need of external validation. High scorers believe they are worthwhile and don’t need much external validation. This doesn’t mean that they are especially able but they do believe they have enough ability to do what is required.

16 Interpersonal Confidence
Low scores High scores Will back down quickly when challenged Will allow others to dominate debates – even when they are more expert Will have difficulty dealing with assertive people Will argue their corner – especially if they believe they are right Will get one’s own way – even when others may have a better case Won’t allow others to orally dominate Will have a ‘go’ and enter a conversation. Interpersonal Confidence Measures the extent to which we are prepared to assert ourselves and to deal with challenge or ridicule. High scorers are more confident about representing their position on something – more assertive. This allows them to deal effectively with oral challenge - they are less likely to be intimidated and will push forward in social settings.

17 A word on resilience Resilience is often defined as a function of Commitment and Control. Resilience represents the ability to deal with an adverse situation and still complete some or all of what you had set out to do. Mental Toughness broadens this concept by adding two more components – Challenge and Confidence.

18 4. How do you measure Mental Toughness Using the MTQ48 Questionnaire
Characteristics of the MTQ48 It is normative, valid and a reliable measure It has an-line format (there is a hard copy version as well) It is extremely easy to administer It only takes about 7–8 minutes to complete The results and reports are immediately available An on-line facility also helps to manage data There is short licensed user training available (1 day and 2 day options)

19 The MTQ48 reports you receive
For the Individual: A Development Report - clear feedback and interpretation plus suggestions for development A Distance Travelled Report – compare before and after interventions For the Manager/Mentor/Coach An Assessment Report - gives clear feedback and at least 6 questions to help probe each area A Coaching Report - gives clear feedback plus suggested coaching & development actions designed to compliment the development report For the School: An OD Report – generates histograms of results of selected groups and individuals (with their permission)

20 MTQ48 – language availability
MTQ48 is available in 10 languages at the moment. England Netherlands Sweden Poland Germany Italy Arab League France Romania Czechoslovakia

21 Mental Toughness Development
Mental toughness capability can be developed in many individuals (but maybe not all) A good process includes: Diagnosis (MTQ48) Intervention Re-diagnosis(MTQ48)

22 Mental Toughness Development
Interventions fall into 6 broad areas Coaching Goal setting Positive thinking Visualisation Anxiety Control The test itself + feedback These all help to develop the capability to deal with challenges, stress, pressure and change.

23 Mental Toughness Development Tools
The tools and techniques described are known to many coaches & tutors (Coaching, CBT, NLP, Psychology) The MTQ48 report is emerging as an intervention in its own right. The feedback discussion is also an effective intervention. Careful feedback also produces very good results. Response can be very quick. It needs sustaining to be embedded.

24 5. The opportunity for you to try the Mental Toughness measure
If you want to try the MTQ48 for yourself just tick the box on the form and insert your details. And you can also try the ILM 72 Leadership Measure if you wish as well. Both of these are available to you FREE from AQR.

25 Book published in Feb 2003 Kogan Page
Written by Dr Peter Clough and Doug Strycharczyk

26 Plenary What action will you now take based on what you have learnt from Teacher Skill 5?

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