Often a person who is excelling in one specific area will probably not be the same in another area. Which means that we humans by design are different from one another. For example, a person who is progressing in an academic and professional career is constantly failing, when it comes to controlling his/her emotional state. In our lives we face challenges and often we find ourselves stuck in tiny problems. Where we think that life is completely jeopardized. We continue to face the challenges and in response we continue to repeat the same actions generation after generation as we are designed in this way.
Researches claim that at times we are driven by high energies to perform well but our mind is not ready as it still lags behind in certain skills, which are called executive skills. Hence, we are always trying our level best to live up to the expectations of others. It is research proven that acquiring certain skills can boost performance. As a result, making quick decisions and solving out problems can be conveniently done. Executive skills are one domain that does not only help in improving the performance overall also it makes us organize in our lives and prepares us to move ahead of our difficulties. Neuroscientists believe that executive skills already exist in our brain which means we are hardware with these skills. These are innate in us. The term is derived from the word ‘executive’ which involves performing higher difficult tasks such as running business, finance, planning and other different aspects of communication.
As it’s an established fact that these skills exist in us from the beginning. Executive skills are wired within our brains just like language. These skills are also present as potential in our brain from the beginning and with time as this brain area getting developed we sharpen these skills through training. However, despite the fact that executive skills hardware exists in us, exposure to certain factors can affect the development of executive skills. These factors include trauma, genetics and lastly role play of our environment and psychosocial stressors.
There are 12 executive skills that have been identified:
Response inhibition: Keeping ahead of the consequences. The ability to think before actions are served
Working Memory: Capacity to retain the information in the memory especially while performing complex tasks
Emotional Control: Controlling and managing emotions in difficult situations to accomplish tasks
Sustained Attention: The ability to keep attention on a particular task despite the other distracting factors.
Task Initiation: The ability to start the task without any delay or procrastination
Planning/ prioritization: The capacity to make road maps in the mind and then executing them by focusing on important tasks and eliminating what is not important.
Organization: The ability to keep track of tasks. Organization involves arranging tasks and taking responsibility for your actions.
Time Management: Ability to divide time and manage it efficiently. Time management is one skill to meet deadlines and stay within the frame of time limits.
Goal direction: The capacity to follow the goal until the finish line. Goal direction requires motivation and complete focus on the goal.
Flexibility: The ability to mold yourself according to difficult or changing situations.
Meta-Cognition: This skill involves analyzing a situation from the bird’s eye view.
Stress Tolerance: The ability to thrive in stressful situations.
Executive skills execution can help our brain to make a new neural pathway, which means we can train our brain to execute these skills. Acquiring these innate skills can help us in modify our behavior, better goals direction and quickly solving out the problem in difficult situations. However, executive skills don’t exist as strength in everyone. On the contrary, it is entirely possible that executive skills exist as a weakness too. One might be having a set of executive skills as strengths and a few as a weakness. Eventually, the goal must be converting these weaknesses into strengths.
Sometimes it’s utterly disappointing when we are unable to manage our lives smartly. Executive skills are excellent skills to support and think ahead of time. In willing ways, it is made sure that through assessment strengths and weaknesses are identified. The next step is that an expert makes sure that the implementation of executive skills through therapeutic techniques is done correctly. This is done to enable the life of an individual who is missing out on these vital skills.