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Book review: Developing Mental Toughness

Title: Developing Mental Toughness Authors: Peter Clough and Doug Strycharczyk Publisher: Kogan Page ISBN 978 0749 46377 9 Usefulness **** The label ‘mental toughness’ may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but few can argue that these are challenging times in which topics such as resilience are particularly hot. Does resilience, or mental toughness, which the authors see as wider than resilience, really exist? Clough and Strycharczyk believe so. They also believe it’s useful, can be developed and can be measured. To back these assertions, they share plenty of research and case studies, including their own. They have developed the […]

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Mental toughness enhances workplace performance

By Christian van Nieuwerburgh Higher levels of mental toughness have been shown to correlate with enhanced levels of well-being, according to AQR managing director, Doug Strycharczyk. Some 140 coaches gathered at Aston Business School in Birmingham for a conference on ‘Coaching for Resilience: Strengthening Your Organisation from Within.’ In his opening address, Strycharczyk said that mental toughness can explain up to 25 per cent of variation in performance between individuals. The event was organised by the West Midlands Coaching Pool and AQR. Emeritus professor at Sheffield Hallam University, David Megginson warned of the “joyless depletion” which can be the result […]

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Welcome to the September 2012 issue of the newsletter

Welcome to the September 2012 issue of the newsletter I remember talking to a head of coaching at a major retailer in the UK a while back (before the economic crisis) who didn’t believe in spending lots of money on evaluating coaching. He said he could see that it worked and that that was good enough for him. Whether it was good enough for the company’s finance director, I don’t know, and certainly it’s hard to imagine this coaching champion continuing to get away with not evaluating coaching in the current climate. We are certainly very preoccupied with return on […]

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How to… Coach for mental toughness: part 2

Most people know what it’s like to have a ‘poor’ attention span. They also know that it’s hard to stop doing favourite tasks. In the final part of this series, Peter Clough and Doug Strycharczyk consider how to improve performance through better concentration. Research and feedback from practitioners shows that the most useful interventions for developing mental toughness fall under five broad headings: positive thinking, visualisation, anxiety control, goal setting and attentional control. The latter, which is about focusing better and for longer, is one of the least exploited areas of intervention, yet it has the most scope for significant […]

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Welcome to the August 2012 issue of the newsletter

Welcome to the August 2012 issue of the newsletter Mental toughness is a significant factor in performance and wellbeing. Apparently most of us have it, but we don’t know how to use it, say Peter Clough and Doug Strycharczyk, who have written a book on this theme. In this issue of the newsletter, we feature the first of a two-part series on how to coach for mental toughness- see Highlights. The second part, in the September issue, will focus on attentional control. We’ve set a date for our next coaching conference: 2 July, in London. Our last two conferences sold […]

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Body of Evidence

A major development in coaching has been making an impact in North America, and it’s heading to the UK and the rest of Europe. Doug Strycharczyk reveals why evidence-based instructional coaching, designed to help the client implement proven practices, is such a valuable proposition To coaching purists, instructional coaching (IC) may seem a contradiction in terms, but it has a wide evidence base and proponents argue it offers a new and valuable perspective.Created by Dr Jim Knight at the University of Kansas, IC was developed initially for the world of education, but has applications in other areas too – the occupational, […]

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