What is Executive functioning, and how can we cultivate it?

Executive function is a mix of three distinct mental skills that allow people to manage their thoughts, feelings and actions in everyday life.  These three skills are: working memory, cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control.

  • Working memory – the ability to hold information in your head to use for the appropriate task.
  • Cognitive flexibility – the ability to look at a problem from several different perspectives and to determine the best solution.
  • Inhibitory control – being able to resist temptation, focus on long terms goals and defer gratification.

Having these skills helps make you more focused, a better planner, and more emotionally regulated. You’ll process information faster and do better under pressure. Any parent can tell you that kids take time to fully develop these ways of thinking, and that some children do it better than others. Understand.org have produced resources that highlight Signs of executive function at different ages.

But what if you or your child don’t have these skills? Siarad Da has a full training program dedicated to building these kinds of cognitive patterns and strengthening decision-making abilities in vulnerable young people…it all begins with effective communication.


Check out our website through the link above or visit us at siaradda.org.uk  to learn more.

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