Hello all,

I am a long time listener of the Mgt tools casts and I am grateful with this organization. Without the aid of Manager tools, it would've been much harder to get to where I am today and  would have done many rookie mistakes :)

So I am here today to bring something to the table that I do not think many really pay attention to: How to strengthened our directs mind, how to make them tougher or accelerate this process that can take years of practice. For instance, high performance athletes, they are under a lot of pressure and can cope with it and sometimes use it to their advantage. Anyone can throw a 60 yard pass at your local field finding your wide receiver very easily, but can you do that with a stadium full of people either supporting or against you? Only the few strong ones can do that and I want to learn how to either teach that or train someone on this topic. 

I am a believer that as you exercise your body, you should also exercise your mind. Many times our directs performance is highly dependent on their state of mind.  

I hope this is clear and would appreciate if someone can either point me in the right direction or provide their thoughts. 

P.S English is my second language, so sorry if it's not well written. 


Best, David. 


svibanez's picture

My thought is that you can teach your people to solve problems by asking a lot of questions and stretching their minds and creating new thought processes.  I don't know that you can teach mental toughness - I believe that comes more from experience than from exercise.

I ask my directs a lot of questions to get them looking at issues from different angles so they can learn to develop the best possible solutions. The results of their decisions will help strengthen their minds by reinforcing good decisions and showing them the shortcomings of poor decisions. I do try to help them recognize a poor decision prior to implementation so they can correct it ahead of time, but that's not always possible. It may not even be desirable if the decision is low risk - the lesson may be more valuable in the long term than getting the decision right.

I look forward to reading others' thoughts on this subject.


DiSC 7114

drenn18's picture
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In a one on one, identify the situations in which your direct failed to handle the pressure. If they agree to be coached on it, use resources such as books, schedules, coworkers, and especially these Manager Tools forums to get information about handling pressure. Closely follow their performance of scheduled tasks related to the skill.

You ask how to teach mental strength. If an answer exists it's form is a set of behaviors, and if it exists you'll hear/read about it from other people. The only other option is meditation, which may work but is very hard for a manager to give feedback on haha.

Good luck, and share the data you get!






Dvarela's picture

Thank you all for your responses. I think what I am looking for is very abstract and there is not much information on it. I'll try to research books on this topic.


jmarkey77's picture


I believe what you're talking about is often known as grit. I have found the best way to increase my directs level lf grit is to apply that pressure they would experience without me, since the pressure is applied through me it is in a relativly safe enviroment where their failures are only seen by me and can be addressed without impact to the greater organization or their own departments.

There may be better ways to do this, the only one I've found is to have higher expectations of my departments than the company or our customers will likely demand and hold the team to those expectations.


My two cents,

Jeremy Marley