"The mental toughness course was one of the best short courses I have attended."

"The skills learned were extremely useful and practical. I found myself using them automatically, without needing to refer to any notes. I now feel that I can confidently deal with any challenging situation."

- Anna Pollock, Communications Consultant, IAG

Adopting Mental Toughness for Leaders and strengthening your culture and brand delivery

August 29th, 2012

Explanatory Style is an interesting concept.

How we explain what happens to us has a far greater impact on future performance, than what actually happens to us.

This concept; i.e. our reaction to adversity is one of the fundamental foundations of building resilience in an organisational culture.

Another concept, paramount in developing a strong culture where people “live their brand”, is recognising how influential the leader is in the everyday lives of their employees.

How the leader responds and the tone they set in relation to what is acceptable and what is not, filters right through the organisation all the way across to clients, suppliers, employees partners, future employees and all stakeholders in the business.

The most effective leaders stop to consider every aspect of their behaviour and the impact it has downstream on the performance of their culture. This can also include how they explain success and failure.

Some organisations innovate more swiftly than others, and those that do usually find market niches, better ways of doing things and progress quicker than their competitors.

It takes a healthy culture to allow innovation, as innovation is a by product of being allowed room for error in an organisation with a healthy view about making mistakes. At first this can seem counter intuitive; however a culture stifled by a need for perfection will rarely innovate.

The leader’s “explanatory style” has a significant impact on the organisation’s attitude toward failure, adversity and success.

Working with Leadership teams and how they explain what happens to them, their organisation and what to do about it – has a long term impact on their success.

This work on explanatory style has a huge body of science supporting the concept. See Dr Martin Seligman

When we work with organisations (usually in a combination of workshops and coaching), firstly people need to understand the current way they currently use language and secondly begin to agree upon changes in their patterns of thinking. This is surprisingly easy once people have a handle on what is happening.

Those things that “we have never been able to change” take a surprising turn for the better.

Change management initiatives are often mechanical and can lack individual and team support. The rate of change is not slowing down and organisations that prepare their people to respond positively will gain a competitive edge.


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