Biophysical Influences on Professional Development (Part Three)


By Ken Keis

This is the third of a seven-part series. Read Part One or Part Two now and watch for Part Three in

You and I could have similar Personal Styles, but our biophysical influences could be quite different, causing each of us to engage life differently. With this factor, we include any and all biological and physical influences on the personality and body that occur during our lifetime. Even before we are born, factors such as our genetic inheritance from our parents are at work determining a host of physical characteristics, like our gender, height, and skin color. Also, any and all biochemical changes that occur within the body fall into the biophysical category.

Doctors and naturopaths focus most of their attention on the elements of the biophysical factor. Biophysics is the “window” through which they tend to look at personality and behavior. They have strong evidence that the mind-body connection is one of the strongest links to understanding human behavior.

Let’s say you are a healthy and vibrant person, but you get the flu. How differently will you engage the environment? During that time period, friends call with an invitation to a party, but you decline because you are not up to it; you choose to stay home. Once you recover from the flu, your personality goes back to normal.

Here’s a personal example. In 1988, I was moody and had severe emotional swings. One minute I was motivated and excited, the next I just had to go to bed and sleep. My doctor said I was manic depressive and put me on the antidepressant lithium. About a week into treatment, I was ready to crawl right out of my skin—I was irritable and feeling not at all well.

A friend said, “Ken, you don’t have a depression problem. It sounds more like a biophysical condition.” At my insistence, the doctor conducted a glucose tolerance test (GTT). He discovered I had extreme hypoglycemia, a blood sugar condition; when you consume sugar, your pancreas does not make insulin in the correct proportion, which causes all kinds of complications. During that medical condition, my personality was significantly different . . . because of a biochemical state that had nothing to do with depression.

That is a simple illustration of how something can affect our biosystem and have a big impact on our life. A more serious illustration of the way biophysical influences impact personality is found in the area of addictions. It is quite obvious that heavy, repeated alcohol and/or drug use can be very detrimental to personality and behavior, as well as to personal relationships and overall health.

Many other elements under the Biophysical Influences influence personality and behavior.

Genetics Gender Stress-related illness
Illness Body type Health and wellness conditions
Birth defects Addictions Biochemical imbalances
Allergies Bodily malfunctions Physical and mental challenges

Recently, a medical doctor said that in North America, no health care system can support our current lifestyles. We have such poor wellness levels; over 30% of the population is obese and close to 70% of people are unfit. Even if you had a personality that wanted to be active, high energy, and engaging, it would not be possible with a lifestyle and biophysical condition that was not fit or healthy. 

Another element that comes into play is lack of sleep. Many research projects have confirmed that the developed world’s work population is operating on sleep deprivation. Self-awareness of personality and other factors becomes a moot point if you can’t concentrate or you are irritable because your body is not getting the sleep it needs.

If HR wants to lead organizational development instead of follow – it will need to include all the factors that contribute to an individual’s and organization’s performance.


Note: If you want to find out more about your stress and wellness levels, investigate our Stress Indicator and Health Planner assessment. To learn more, please go to

Ken Keis is considered a global authority on the way assessment strategies increase and multiply your success rate. In 22 years, he has conducted more than 2000 presentations and 10,000 hours of consulting and coaching. Author of Why Aren’t You More Like Me? Discover the Secrets to Understanding Yourself and Others, Ken can be contacted at 604 852-0566,, or through

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