Skill of the Week: Flexibility

Skill of the Week:  Flexibility

Over the last week we have introduced the Executive Functioning skill of Flexibility, which “refers to the ability to revise plans in the face of obstacles, setbacks, new information, or mistakes.”  (Dawson, Guare, 256)  Being a flexible thinker involves the ability to think in ways different than your usual ways and being open to other people’s opinions and methods.  It entails trying a new system after you determine that your old one is no longer effective.  

A flexible thinker is able to manage unexpected changes with a minimum of apprehension.  In our rapidly changing and hectic days, we all must frequently adjust our schedule, plans, expectations, and so on.  Doing so with a calm and positive demeanor improves our success and our emotional health.

One strategy to encourage flexibility in thinking is to ask yourself the following question when attempting to complete a task or solve a problem.

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  • List the pros and cons of your current strategy.  

  • If the cons outweigh the pros, time to try a new method.  

  • List other methods that you heard about or learned.

  • Select one and utilize it for at least 3 events.

We employ this strategy when a student prepares for a test utilizing one specific study method that has not resulted in positive results in the past.  “If the flashcard method does not work, why not try creating a foldable ?”