Nature vs. Nurture: Can all skills be taught?

by | Jul 28, 2022

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Some things will come more naturally to some people than others. It’s just a fact of life that some skills will come naturally to us, while others we will have to work really hard just to be able to accomplish them (and sometimes still not even that well to our frustration!). 

Soft skills are quite often things that will come naturally to a lot of people. What are soft skills? Here are some examples:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision-making

There’s no doubt that these soft skills and more are extremely important when it comes to succeeding within an organisation. But can all of these skills be taught? Or if they don’t come naturally to you, do you just miss out?

What is nature vs nurture?

The debate between nature and nurture has been a long-standing one. The question is: which has more of an influence on our skills and abilities, our genes or our environment? Proponents of nature argue that our skills and abilities are determined by our genes. In other words, we are born with particular talents and skills that cannot be changed. On the other hand, supporters of nurture believe that it is our environment that shapes us. Our experiences and interactions with the world around us determine who we become. 

So, which is it? The answer may lie somewhere in the middle. It is likely that both nature and nurture play a role in shaping our skills and abilities. Our genes may give us a head start, but it is ultimately up to us to cultivate our talents and develop our skills. So if you’re struggling to learn new skills, is it possible that with some persistence you can achieve your goals? Yes!

Hard skills vs Soft skills, what’s the difference?

Many people often use the terms “hard skills” and “soft skills” interchangeably, but there is a big difference between the two. Hard skills are specific, quantifiable abilities that are learned through formal education or training. These might include proficiency in a foreign language, expertise in using specific software programs, or experience in a particular field. Soft skills, on the other hand, are personal traits that enable you to interact effectively with others. They might include communication, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities.

While hard skills are important for getting your foot in the door, it’s often soft skills that will help you to advance in your career. After all, no matter how much experience or technical expertise you have, if you can’t work well with others or communicate effectively, you’re likely to hit a roadblock at some point. Therefore, it’s important to focus on developing both hard and soft skills if you want to be successful in today’s competitive job market.

How can Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® help?


Good communication is arguably one of the most important things a business needs to be successful. The workplace is just a large intersection of different thinking styles, so it can be understandable why sometimes people struggle to communicate their ideas. But the HBDI® can help you analyse your communication to match the thinking styles of your audience. Understanding your thinking style will change how you understand your colleagues and lead to better business outcomes. If you are able to improve your communication skills, you will be able to drive these outcomes for your organisation:

  • Improved productivity
  • Better relationships
  • Increased engagement
  • Better decision making


Using Whole Brain® Thinking within your organisation can help to build a leadership development plan that appeals to a wide variety of learners and drives better outcomes for you all.  There’s no one size fits all approach when it comes to motivating and developing upcoming leaders in your organisation. But the HBDI® can help you develop as a leader, leveraging the way you think and helping create a specific plan on how to get you there most effectively.  If you are able to improve your leadership skills, you will be able to drive these outcomes for your organisation:

  • Increased efficiency
  • Improved communication
  • Boost employee satisfaction
  • Be more likely to retain your in-demand talent

Change Management

Change can be tough to deal with, but it’s an inevitable part of both your personal and professional life. Being able to manage change can be a very hard skill to master without a proper strategy and training in place. Whole Brain® Thinking can assist you in determining how you or other people deal with change, allowing you to implement successful individual or organisational change.  If you are able to improve your change management skills, you will be able to drive these outcomes for your organisation:

  • Minimised risk of change failure
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Less resistance to change
  • Reduced time to implement change

Team Effectiveness

Not everyone finds working in a team that easy. But what if your teams had been carefully selected so that you become the most well-rounded and efficient team you could be?  Using Whole Brain® Thinking within your organisation can help you work out what makes an effective team and match people’s thinking styles so that people get along and provide the best work they can. Team effectiveness programs can be crucial in not just improving the effectiveness of your current teams, but allowing you to find new teams that could work together more effectively. If you are able to improve your teamwork skills, you will be able to drive these outcomes for your organisation:

  • Increased efficiency and effectiveness
  • Improved communication
  • Better job satisfaction
  • Create strong relationships
  • Improved employee retention

If you want to learn more about how Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® can help you and your organisation, have a look at how it works here or get in touch and we’ll help you find the right solution.

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