Command can mean and be interpreted in many ways. Some people may think of Command as a strong and confident leader with a goal in mind. Others may think of Command as an overbearing and harsh person. These two ways of thinking about Command can be seen as opposites on a spectrum, so where do people fall in between and how do they make Command a part of their life?
As defined by Strengths Finder, “Command leads you to take charge. Unlike some people, you feel no discomfort with imposing your views on others. Once your goal is set, you feel restless until you have aligned others with you. You are not frightened by confrontation. You feel compelled to present the facts or the truth. You need things to be clear between people and challenge them to honest. You push them to take risks. You may even intimidate them. People are drawn toward those who take a stance and ask them to move in a certain direction. Therefore, people will be drawn to you. You have presence. You have Command.” This is a summed up version of what Strengths Finder considers command to be. Of course it is great to understand what Command is, but the better things to know are how to apply it to your life!
As someone who has Command as one of their top 5 talents, I use it to be direct and clear with the people I am around. I have found that being direct can be interpreted in two different ways. One being that I come across as rude and inconsiderate and the second being someone who understands what needs to be completed and how to get it completed. Of course, context matters in any situation, but I say this so it is clear that a direct and honest person can be fairly or unfairly misinterpreted. Another way that I use Command is to take charge. Whether big or small, there will be daily opportunities to take charge of what you are doing. It may be keeping a group discussion on task by using a question to refocus the conversation, or it could be helping out a teacher in class (technical difficulties, we’ve all seen it…awkward).
Here are a few tips from the StrengthsQuest book of how to use Command in your career planning:
- Seek to hone your Command talents by filling formal or informal leadership roles in organizations. Ask for feedback from others in the group.
- Leverage your persuasiveness when choosing a career. Talk to people in fields such as law, sales, politics, or theatre about how they use their persuasive talents to succeed.
- Investigate careers that offer upward mobility. You probably are unlikely to be intimidated by others – including people in positions considered superior to yours.
- Assume a role that permits you to create and control your own and others’ work. Environments that encourage your leadership will bring out your best.
In saying all of this, you do not have to have Command as one of your top 5 talents to use it in your daily life. A lot of what Command is all about is how comfortable the person is with being that person to take charge and be direct in what can occasionally be uncomfortable situations. If you think that you would be well suited to take charge in an awkward situation, give it a shot! Who knows, you may just be good at taking charge and have just never had the opportunity to show it.
As I said, Command can sound like an overbearing and harsh person, but there are many ways to be great at taking Command in many situations. Next time you get the chance, give it a try!