Here you are stuck in an agonizing mediation. The other side is refusing to cooperate in anything you do, and it is driving you nuts. On those occasions, you need to call upon your inner mental toughness to help you overcome the problematic situation. Mental toughness refers to one being able to manage their emotions, adjust their thinking and take positive action, despite the circumstances. When a stressful situation occurs, do you see the glass half empty or the glass half full? A perfect example of someone who epitomizes mental toughness is Thomas Edison. In 1914, Edison’s factory burned down, causing millions of dollars in damages; however, Edison’s response was simple: “Thank goodness all our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start fresh again.” A statement such as this one shows that Edison’s mental toughness allowed him to capitalize on the opportunity to turn something negative into something positive.
In stressful situations, like mediations and negotiations, achieving characteristics of mental toughness may seem difficult; however, Travis Bradberry has identified several strategies that help a person develop this skill in his article titled, “15 Habits of Mentally Tough People.” The following are a few strategies to begin using today, as recommended by Travis Bradberry:
- Be confident. Just as the great Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t—you’re right.” One’s ability to succeed relies on the mentality of whether or not someone believes they can. In fact, a recent study at the University of Melbourne showed that confident people earned higher wages and got promoted more quickly than others.
- Neutralize toxic people. When confronting a toxic person, it is important to identify emotions on both ends and not let frustration or anger escalate the situation. Rationally approaching a situation with a toxic person will allow common ground to be met and problems to be solved.
- Embrace change. Fear of change will only cause one to suffer a loss of happiness and success. A person can only appreciate change when they find the good in it. This is why mentally tough people see change as an opportunity to produce new and even better results.
- Exercise. A study conducted at the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more socially, intellectually and athletically competent. The study also found that the same people rated their body image and self-esteem higher.
- Be positive. To be mentally tough, it must be understood that not everything is in one’s control. Coming to terms with this will allow a person to positively focus on the things that are in his/her control.
These strategies can help you identify the wants and needs of each party, whether in mediation or negotiation. Positivity is the key to embracing change and trusting that the end result is the right outcome, whether or not it was the originally desired outcome.