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4 Steps to REALLY Know Yourself

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

Hi, I’m Dr. Jason Brooks and I’m a leadership psychologist. What this means is that I’ve devoted my life and career to helping people understand how individuals function as leaders and followers. The goal is to understand the elements of being a great leader, the way you perform as a leader and how to maximize the impact and influence the performance of teams and organizations. So, it makes perfect sense that I love to learn and teach. 

I believe one of the greatest things you can do for yourself, and your success, is to know yourself better. When you know how you’re put together, how you feel, how you think and what makes you tick, you can be the best version of yourself possible and lead at an even higher level in your family, your company, and your community.

But, how do you know yourself better? Do you have to take a trip to the far east and commit to six months of solitude and meditation to find “enlightenment”? I sure hope not. That’s certainly not where my the start of my self-awareness journey came from. But, it does take intentional focus of self-exploration. There are so many options out there to help you know yourself.

But, I’ve found that to REALLY know yourself requires looking at yourself through four different but related lenses.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a roadmap for personal discovery in these four areas and the solutions I recommend. 

Personality. I have used the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI, for short) for years. Honestly, I believe the insight my wife and I gained through this assessment totally saved our marriage. We had a really rocky first 7 years. But it was when we were able to take to assessment so we could learn more about ourselves and each other, that we were able to appreciate our differences and learn to work together as a team instead of always being a frustration for each other.

Behaviors. For this, I use the Everything DiSC assessment which looks at behavior in four dimensions: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. Everyone is a blend of all four DiSC styles and usually one, two, or even three styles stand out. Since each person has a unique behavioral profile, people are walking around all over the world with different styles and priorities. All these differences are extremely valuable. The key is to assess these differences and harness their value. Then, you’ll have better communication with your family, friends, team and organization AND relationships overall. Who doesn’t want that?!

Strengths. I’m a huge fan of strengths based leadership and positive psychology. I find that focusing 80% on building strengths and 20% on overcoming weaknesses is the perfect combination for growing as a leader. For this, I love and use the StrengthsFinder assessment. It’s simple, quick to take, but has a lot of value in helping you discover what you naturally do best, learn how to develop your greatest talents, and use your results to live your best life possible and lead at a higher level. Also, it’s very practical and allows you to see your strengths lived out every day.

Emotional Intelligence. Leadership is not a solo game. It’s all about connecting with others. And one of the most important keys to connecting well is developing emotional intelligence. For this, I use the EQ-i 2.0 assessment. Forbes magazine said that emotional intelligence is one of the strongest indicators of success in business...and I agree completely. Emotional intelligence is a set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way. By knowing your areas of strength and opportunities for growth in 15 areas of emotional intelligence, you can be even more successful as a leader.

I’ve used these four assessments with countless people through the years (individuals and teams, executives, leaders, managers, employees, Moms and Dads, husbands and wives). The feedback I receive time and again from people who take these assessments and I coach through the results is how powerful the insight is, how it answers so many questions about themselves ("finally, I know what I’ve thought I believed all these years”), and what an amazing difference it’s made in their lives and in their personal and professional relationships. 

The truth is that there are multiple dimensions to each of us and to really know yourself requires looking at four key areas: personality, behaviors, strengths and emotional intelligence.

This is an investment I made in myself several years ago that’s paid of 10,000 fold over the years in stronger relationships, greater impact as a leader, focusing on what I love in life rather than settling for second best, and being the best husband, dad, and leader I can be. Now, I love to be part of helping others reap the same results I have. It’s a powerful part of what I do and the value these four areas of insight bring can make all the difference in the world to your life and your leadership.

Live. Love. Lead. Leave a Legacy!

Dr. Jason

To learn more about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Everything DiSC, StrengthsFinder and EQ-i 2.0, visit

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