“You’re trying to eat grass that isn’t there. Why don’t you give it a chance to grow?”
Raring-to-Go Commanders and the People in Their Lives
Most Commanders (ENTJ) combine vision and strategy. Not only do they come up with brilliant ideas but they also usually have a hand in developing and implementing them. They score the lowest of all personality types on our Laziness scale, and they often reveal their determination through hard work. While there is a difference in levels of confidence between Assertive and Turbulent Commanders, they both share a basic confidence born more of their Extraverted and Thinking personality traits than their Identities. Once they have formed a concept and engineered a plan, there is often no stopping them. And those who don’t get on board quickly… Well, they can become casualties, metaphorically speaking.
It’s not that Commanders have no respect for those they leave behind. They score higher overall than most personality types on our Respect scale. But Commanders are one of the personalities most likely to expect people to earn that respect, rendering it a thing dependent on performance rather than some unconditional gift. But once someone earns a Commander’s respect, they are eager enough to give it.
It wouldn’t be beyond Commanders to be competitive and driven enough to let any dead weight fall by the wayside. But because of their Extraversion, they are more likely to see collaboration with a team as a stronger aim and worth preserving. That said, some part of Commanders might always have an eye out for who is having trouble keeping up.
Being Extraverted, Commanders typically do not want to alienate the people in their families, communities, and workplaces. They are likely to want to preserve the social connections that contribute to their energy level and passion. But Commanders, like most Analyst personalities, are not always in touch with their feelings or the feelings of others, so they may not know when the pressure they put on people they care about is demoralizing. They can unknowingly let the goal become more important than the emotions and self-esteem of the people in their lives.
This Commander-style eagerness to plow forward forcefully toward a goal can be the same as impatience – which tends to be one of their weaknesses. But as badly as they may want to accomplish their visions, Commanders still need others to go along with them for the ride. So it may be necessary for them to be patient enough to let others “catch up.” And even when it’s not necessary, it may still be desirable. Even the people who can match their energy for a while may eventually burn out if Commanders don’t exercise care.
People often think things like patience are a matter of temperament. You either are, or you aren’t, patient by birth and inherent characteristics. But Commanders can learn and develop patience. It starts with an awareness of the need for patience, followed by a commitment and some deliberate actions. Here are a few pointers for Commander personality types.
1. Do I Need Patience?
Take an inventory. Ask others to help you assess your PQ, or patience quotient. (There is currently no widespread numerical scale for patience. But PQ sounds good, right?) We don’t always measure ourselves as objectively as we could. That said, Commanders are among the personality types who are most equipped to step back and take a rigorous look at themselves. Even so, they may need – or want – a second opinion. Where are you patient? Where might you invest more patience for a balanced life that has less of a dramatic impact on others and less stress?
2. Explore Your Findings
Where does a lack of patience hurt your endeavors? Are there any places where impatience might actually help? Like most Analyst personalities, you know that an excellent strategy begins with having a reason and a solid handle on the concepts, and this applies no less when developing a strategy for managing impatience. You likely will not skip this step because of who you are, but if you ever feel tempted, remember that a compelling reason for an action can be the thing that shapes a powerful strategy.
3. Consider the People in Your Life
People are often suspicious of change and will vigorously resist it. Remember that not everyone values intellectual maturity or rationality as you do, and they may need to take a little time to adjust to your new ideas before they embrace your confident moves. You would probably be wise to give it to them. Try to think less about where the people in your life are in the moment and think more about their potential and intentions.
Everybody has value on some level. It may help to look for it. It may be something that they do on a spectacular scale, or it could be as unassuming as their ability to make you happy and help keep you balanced. When you appreciate people for who they are, it’s a lot easier to practice patience with them. Whether they’re your family, members of your community, or people in your workplace, look at them as team members. Remember the old saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Your patience might support their efforts and strengthen their impact.
4. Slow Your Roll
Listen to others and discover what their natural pace is. Rather than running over them, allow them to enter the flow of your vision at their own speed – when possible and within reason. Hone your listening skills to get a better grasp of how your actions are affecting others.
Commander personalities tend to want things done yesterday. Look at your pace, and think about arbitrarily slowing it down, just a little. If you predict that something will take you three days to do, relax into a firm, four-day schedule. Then stick to it. Add an extra week onto a project when you can. If it’s a splendid plan with sustainable results, it might not make a difference if that stage of the project launches in three weeks or four.
5. Use Impatience to Get to Know Yourself Better
If you’ve followed the first suggestion above, you’ve already explored some areas of self-examination. That paragraph was about how often you’re impatient. But what about how deep your impatience goes? You can use impatience as an opportunity to take things just a little deeper and explore some of your inner life.
When you’re feeling impatient or frustrated because something is taking far too long, lean into that impatience and frustration. Become intimate with those feelings, so you can easily spot them when they creep up on you in the future. Get to know your impatience. Don’t let it become a mindless reflex but rather something that you notice and recognize. Pay attention to it.
After you learn to be aware of your impatience, take another step and notice the things you’re telling yourself about it. Are those things true? For example, is it really now or never or is that an artificial construct of your own creation? Is there really an essential reason to rush, or is something else the driving factor? Can you motivate others to move faster by being hard on them or trying to micromanage them? Is all the tension that’s often the product of impatience worth it when you count all the marbles in the end?
Patient Isn’t the Same as Passive
Finally, some impatient Commanders may have picked up the idea that patience is just another word for passive. Slowing down and waiting may feel like doing nothing. And passivity is about the farthest thing from the Commander mindset. But patience can be a very active and deliberate thing in the right hands, and it isn’t about giving in or giving up.
Becoming more patient is about deciding not to allow a sense of urgency to be needlessly in charge. Sometimes patience involves stopping, breathing, and regrouping. That’s all very deliberate and active.
How does impatience either get in your way or help you? What are your tips for handling impatience for your personality type?
- The Identity personality trait influences how Commanders handle stress and move forward with their goals. Learn more about the differences between Assertive and Turbulent Commanders.
- If you’re a Commander personality type wondering how to get in touch with your emotions, we’ve got tips for you on developing emotional intelligence.
- Are you looking to apply your strategic skills to a new career? Check out our suggestions for Analyst personalities on career compatibility and professional environments that might not be a good fit.