“Efficient,” “effective,” and “eager to achieve” are all words that would certainly describe many Commanders. People with this personality type are driven to pursue success, whatever that may mean to them. Their confidence and, ahem, commanding presence can make them effective and motivating as both leaders and teammates.
All these strengths are fantastic, but they can prevent Commanders from fully developing other important skills – specifically their emotional intelligence. Goals and ideas excite them. Emotions, both their own and others’, can be frustrating and difficult to rationalize.
As often ambitious individuals, Commanders can be so focused on achieving their goals that they ignore the impact emotions have on their actions and behaviors. They excel at getting things done, but it can come at a steep cost to their relationships and their own well-being. Fortunately, individuals with this personality type have a great deal of skills at their disposal that they can call upon to understand and utilize their emotions more effectively.
Emotions and Success
It’s important for Commander personalities to keep in mind that there are more ways to measure success than career achievements or material wealth. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that wealth and power are the ultimate symbols of a happy and prosperous life. Those things are indeed nice to have and do bring a certain amount of satisfaction. But, if their relationships are unfulfilling (or nonexistent) because they are focused exclusively on material measures of success, they are unlikely to find true fulfillment or happiness.
Commanders who choose to develop their emotional intelligence for career purposes may unintentionally – yet very beneficially – improve other areas of their lives. In fact, purposely directing their efforts toward bettering themselves and their relationships is likely to help these personalities make more progress toward their goals than merely focusing on career success.
Intentionally focusing on the skills that can help them to improve their interactions with others, such as empathy and emotional expression, can improve their lives personally and professionally. Having a satisfying career is nice, but having friends and family with whom to share their lives in meaningful ways provides value that goes far beyond the material. Developing their emotional intelligence is undoubtedly a win-win situation for Commanders looking to improve all areas of their lives.
Building an Emotional Toolbox
So, the real question that needs to be answered is, “How?” How does one learn not only to become more aware of their emotions but also to use them to become a more well-rounded, effective individual? The best way to do this is to build an emotional toolbox that addresses the specific issues that are most relevant to you.
Commanders struggling with their relationships, for example, may want to focus on improving their empathy and emotional expression. Doing some basic research on these skills and practicing them is a great first step. (This article can help!) Perhaps work isn’t going well. In that case, learning more about healthy problem-solving and stress management skills can be helpful.
The following steps can help you make your emotions work for you (instead of against you):
Identify a situation with which you are struggling.
Example: You have been trying to pay off your student loans for several years, but the balance just doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller.
Write down three to five words that describe your feelings about that situation.
Example: You write the following feeling words about this situation: angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, hopeless.
Turn those words into action plans.
1. I will channel my anger into motivation to pay down this debt faster.
2. My frustration is with a loan balance that never seems to move, so I will explore options to address this issue with my local credit union.
3. To prevent myself from being overwhelmed, I will develop a step-by-step action plan for making extra money and paying back this debt.
4. My mental health is important, and feeling hopeless will not help this situation. I will start journaling regularly about how I feel and join an online community of individuals who are working toward similar goals in positive, supportive ways.
Obviously, not all emotions are negative – and it’s important that Commander personalities don’t become focused solely on what they struggle with in an attempt to improve their lives. Improving emotional intelligence is great, but making sure to appreciate the positive feelings that they experience on a regular basis is just as important.
Taking time each day to consider those things that bring them happiness, such as relationships, hobbies, or even a special possession, can improve a Commander’s overall mood and well-being. In fact, creating an intentional gratitude practice is one of the most effective ways to promote even more positive emotions.
Whatever struggles Commander personality types may be having, leveraging their ambition and passion for increasing their knowledge will help them to find suitable resolutions to their problems. Our Academy is a great starting point for this journey, as are the articles suggested below. However, we want to hear from you! What techniques or tools have you used to improve your emotional intelligence? Let us know!