Magazine article New Zealand Management

MBA Students Tested for Mental Toughness

Magazine article New Zealand Management

MBA Students Tested for Mental Toughness

Article excerpt

Massey University MBA students have become the first in the country to have their mental toughness evaluated as part of their programme.

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Jamie Ford, the holder of the Australasian rights to Seligman research which shows greater success rates for people with an "optimistic explanatory style", is working with Massey University MBA students to measure and ultimately to improve their attitudes.

He explains the crux of Seligman's theory is that pessimism damages your motivation and your belief that you can overcome future adversity. Optimism, on the other hand, leads to success.

"If you think of setbacks as permanent, global and personal, you are a pessimist. Optimists on the other hand, think of setbacks as temporary, specific and external," Ford says.

Martin Seligman is an American psychologist and writer best known for his work on the idea of "learned helplessness", and more recently, positive psychology.

"High-profile businesses are training staff to be mentally tough and resilient, because they know this is crucial to competitive success, and Massey is the first MBA programme to recognise the value of this for their graduate business students," says Ford. …

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