Cognitive Flexibility – Important Employee Skill. This work ability refers to our ability to disengage from one task and respond to another or think about multiple concepts at the same time. Someone who is cognitively flexible will be able to learn more quickly, solve problems more creatively, and adapt and respond to new situations more effectively, which is why it’s so important in both educational settings and the workplace. Cognitive flexibility involves creativity, logical reasoning, and problem sensitivity. It also means being able to adapt how you communicate based on who you’re talking to. Employers want to know you don’t just say the same thing to everyone – that you think critically about who you’re talking to, deeply listen, and tailor communication to that person.

Cognitive Flexibility – Developing Cognitive Flexibility Skills

Developing Cognitive Flexibility Skills. Here are six ways to improve your cognitive flexibility. Reading. As reading activates several regions of your brain, working together at the same time, it’s like exercise for the mind. It keeps your brain stimulated, just like building a muscle at the gym. This improves brain function overall and therefore, cognitive flexibility as well. Meditation. Studies have shown that both attention and cognitive flexibility can be enhanced by the practice of mindfulness meditation. The more advanced a person is with their practice, the greater the cognitive flexibility seems to be. Exercise. The psychological benefits of exercise are well known: boosted mood, energy and, most importantly, cognitive enhancement. Regular aerobic exercise is associated with the growth of new brain cells and is an effective way to increase cognitive flexibility as well.

Developing Cognitive Flexibility Skills – Continued

Sleep. Rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM) is associated with information processing across neural networks. In fact, REM-dreaming is associated with increased creativity and reasoning abilities. Sleep is good for the brain, and anything good for the brain will also be good for enhancing cognitive flexibility. Diet. Fatty acids help improve neurotransmission, cognitive function and reduce brain inflammation. A diet full of healthy fats or specific omega-3 supplements, found in fish oil, for example, may increase cognitive flexibility by reducing inflammation. Games. Any type of game that keeps your brain challenged, whether online, board games or even word puzzles and ad libs, can help build neural pathways. Having these fortified mental reserves can help delay cognitive decline as we age.

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