Get Smart. Build Your Mental Muscle

As I got off the elevator I saw a room full of folks with their faces buried in their computer screens.

When I got down to my client’s office he told me that a chunk of his team had been pulled off their day to day tasks to work on a special project creating several new web features for their marketing and sales team.

“Its really mentally challenging work” he told me “They have to analyze this data, make a determination of fit and then fit it into our web site in such a way that will allow the data to be used for sales to new and existing customers.”

He went onto tell me that he was really proud of how the team stepped up and that he is doing everything he can to help them stay focused. He’s bought them lunch, brought is some consultants to help with some technical issues and trying to keep things as light-hearted as possible.

“Yesterday, I went into the room and asked if everyone was having fun with data?” Just a few folks raised their hand, he told me, but when he went onto to say “if you aren’t having fun, then he’d have to give them a hug, all hands shot up quickly.” They all enjoyed a good laugh. His team had been working on this project for a couple of weeks and was showing some big time mental toughness.

Mental toughness is about working hard and quickly and dealing with challenges in a way that is requires persistent, focus and determination. His team had it.

Some ways to build that kind of toughness for yourself and your team include:

  • Focus on the essentials: Michelangelo said that he sculpted David by removing everything from the granite that was not David.
  • Look for learning opportunities: We want to make challenges as easy as possible. Turn to others to see how they are solving problems.
  • Don’t get impeded by failure: Failing is the best way to learn. Take it and move on.
  • No Whining: Complaining doesn’t really solve anything. You want to come up with solutions to problems.
  • Celebrate: My client knew how to show appreciation and acknowledge success.
  • © Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2015


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