Command: Taking Control and Speaking Up

A CliftonStrengths Theme Spotlight

"People exceptionally talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions." -The Gallup Organization

Over the years, I've had the opportunity to supervise several different instructors with dominant Command themes. These instructors were always assertive and direct, confident and charismatic. When students completed end of the semester course evaluations about instructors high in Command , they commented about how "captivating" and "in control" they were in the classroom.

When I evaluated them in the classroom, I was always in awe of their ability to establish credibility and command the attention of the class while so many other instructors struggle to lead and engage a classroom full of college students.

And that's the thing. I didn't have to teach them how to command attention.

It came naturally.

The Talents of People High in Command

People high in the Command theme are influential and have a powerful presence. They feel comfortable and confident making decisions when others are tentative about what to do next. In fact, people high in Command are typically fearless when leading through change and crisis. And they are not intimidated by conflict, challenges, or confrontation. They see these things as necessary for growth and progress.

They are straightforward and honest in their assessments, clear and concise, and bring emotional clarity to their teams and workplaces. They are often charismatic, inspirational, and motivational in nature. At their best, they are proactive defenders, protective of their teams.

Leaders high in Command are typically decisive, confident, and assertive. One client we worked with who had a dominant Command theme told us:

"I'm not afraid to tell my manager what I think about a decision or project. It's hard for me to understand why people don't say what they're thinking. You waste so much time when you aren't honest and upfront. I just think it's more efficient to tell the truth and let the chips fall as they may."

The Temptations for People High in Command

Because people high in Command tend to gravitate towards leadership positions, they can struggle when asked to follow others. They might resist or resent the requests and commands of their managers, sure that they would be better able to lead the team or initiative. At times, those high in Command are insubordinate, choosing to disregard the instructions of others because they see themselves as in control of their own destiny.

Sometimes people high in Command struggle in interpersonal communication contexts. They might frequently interrupt, challenge their leaders or colleagues, steamroll conversation, or respond explosively when confronted or corrected. Additionally, those with Command can occasionally be perceived as bossy, know-it-alls, or prideful about their opinions and preferences.

The same client mentioned above also told us:

"I've gotten myself in trouble because when I think I'm being assertive and direct, I'm actually coming off as aggressive and mean. I've made people cry before, before I realized I was communicating in a very overbearing way."

Command Your Command Strength

Here are a couple of quick ideas to get you thinking about how to leverage and self-regulate if you've got a dominant Command theme:

  1. You thrive when you are able to assert yourself freely while leading and persuading others. Look for opportunities in which you can contribute much needed direction to your team or workplace.

  2. Consider partnering with people high in themes like Empathy, Relator or Harmony. These individuals can help you consider emotional or interpersonal factors that you might have overlooked. Additionally, you might personally benefit from their emotional support.

  3. When leading others, make sure you communicate about your Command talent. By openly discussing your strengths and potential vulnerabilities, your team members will come to appreciate your assertiveness and won't be as likely to perceive you as "rude" or "short" with them.

At ROI Talent Development, we try to help people fall in love with every single talent theme, even if it isn't dominant in their own theme sequence. Because when we all take the time to understand and appreciate one another, we build happy and healthy workplaces where employee talents are valued and developed.

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