How to overcome your executive function challenges.

How to overcome your executive function challenges.

Psychological research tells us that it is never too late for adults to improve their executive function skills1. These mental skills develop from infancy across the lifespan and peak during our mid 20s2. Although there is age-related decline when it comes to cognitive functioning3, these skills and the part of the brain where executive function skills reside (the prefrontal cortex) are malleable and can strengthen depending on how much effort and commitment is given to improving those functions. This is known as neuroplasticity4. It also takes time to improve executive functions5. Unfortunately, there is no quick overnight fix, especially if you have significant challenges with many of your executive function skills or have ADHD/ADD. The good news is that Connections in Mind can offer life-time support so that you can regain control and reach your professional and personal goals.

What are executive functions?

Executive functions are a family of three core skills: inhibitory control, working memory and cognitive flexibility1. These three core executive functions work together in different ways resulting in a set of other high-order skills called executive function skills. There are 11 executive functions skills including time management, organisation, planning, emotional control and response inhibition. We all have our executive function strengths and challenges, take our free executive function questionnaire (usually £10pp) which will send you a bespoke report with what you can work and how!

Would you like to see more resources like this? Then join our Executive Function Support Group for Adults here.

Why are executive functions important?

Strong development of executive function skills is strongly related to better outcomes in social-emotional functioning, physical health and mental wellbeing throughout life3. Working on these skills will also further your career development and job success6. Importantly, research also indicates that executive functioning in adults highly influences the capabilities of the children that they care for7.

How can Connections in Mind support you?

At Connections in Mind, we are a team of dedicated and caring executive function coaching experts. Our coaches combine their skills acquired through experience and education to create bespoke coaching programmes tailored to individual client needs. Our client-led approach to coaching means that you will be provided with the support and strategies you need to improve specific self-regulatory and executive functions skills so that you can reach your personal and professional goals.

How do coaching sessions work?

If you struggle with controlling your emotions, your coach can teach you strategies for recognising and interrupting responses, such as anger or frustration, to give you more time to activate intentional self-regulation.

Goal-directed persistence (i.e. your ability to set and follow-through with that goal in a timely manner) is another executive function skill that many adults can find challenging. Working with a coach can help you identify your own motivating goals and support your pursuit in achieving that goal through regular check-ins outside of your coaching sessions.

Book a free 30 minute consultation call

If you would like some more information about our range of bespoke coaching programmes and to find out how we can help you more specifically, book a free consultation call with Sarah, one of our executive function coaching experts today. You can read a testimonial from one of our adult clients below.

By Rebecca Tyler, Connections in Mind

References

1Diamond, A. (2013). Executive Functions. Annual Review of Psychology, 64, 135-168.

2Pauwels, L., Chalavi, S., Swinnen, S. P. (2018). Ageing and brain plasticity. Ageing, 8(1) , 1-2.

3Murman, D. L. (2015). The impact of age on cognition. Seminar in Hearing, 36(3), 111-121.

4Bryck, R. L., & Fisher, P. A. (2012). Training the brain: Practical applications of neural plasticity from the intersection of cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, and prevention science. American Psychologist, 67(2), 87-100.

5Diamond, A., & Ling, D. S. (2016). Conclusions about interventions, programs, and approaches for improving executive functions that appear justified and those that despite much hype, do not. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 18, 34-48.

6Bailey, C. E. (2007). Cognitive accuracy and intelligent executive function in the brain and in business. Annual New York Academic Science, 1118, 122-141.

7Center on the Developing Child: Harvard University. Building Adult Capabilities. Retrieved from: https://developingchild.harvard.edu/innovation-application/key-concepts/adult-capabilities/

Sarah Holgate
Sarah Holgate