When it comes to leadership, management, or the simple interactions we have on a daily basis, we tend to underestimate and overlook the most powerful driver of our language, behavior, and sense of self: our biology.

Based on my experience, we instead talk more about the generation we’re a part of, our DiSC profile, our Myers-Briggs results, whether we’re introverted or extroverted, or other label-based personality characteristics. Behind all of those things, however, is so much biological complexity: how human brains work, how our individual brains are wired, why and when certain hormones flow through our bodies, and – perhaps most importantly – how we can change much of it.

I’ve learned this over the past three years, as we’ve increasingly incorporated cognitive science, neuroscience, brain anatomy, and our body’s chemistry into Junto’s emotional intelligence training. The more sessions and discussions we hold, the more we discover how new much of this information is for most people. To wit:

  • “It provided me with factual, scientific evidence as to why I am how I am and how to best utilize it.”

  • “Good learning experience for me in terms of how our brain operates in relation to our behavior, emotions, etc.”

  • “Helped me better understand the science behind why I am the way I am.”

Personally, I’ve had the exact same experience. The more I continue to learn about the complexity of the brain and how it interacts with the rest of our body, the more I’m able to understand how I’m “wired,” what I’m able to change and control, and how I can become more emotionally intelligent. And then – and here’s the fun yet mind-boggling part – the more I experiment with things like sleep, diet, breathing, when I work, who I’m around, etc., the more change I see and the further I conclude that our brains can indeed be re-wired.

In other words, the discussion isn’t simply nature vs. nurture. Truth be told, by learning more about our individual biology and why we are who we are, we can actually nurture our nature.