In her best-selling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain has affirmed half the population and become an advocate for the introverts of the world. She has given voice to the tension introverts feel in a highly extroverted world.
Seriously, reading this book was like discovering a long lost friend!
If you’re an introvert, I suggest making Quiet the next book on your reading list. It will affirm some of the innate parts of your personality while also better equipping you to engage effectively in a highly extroverted world.
If you’re an extrovert, I think you will find Cain’s research about both introverts and extroverts very fascinating. If you have introverts in your life (and you probably do), it will give you a glimpse into how they process the world differently from you.
If you’re a leader, I strongly suggest you read this book to understand the differing dynamics of introverts and extroverts. The power of your team lies in your ability to engage both personalities effectively.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“Extrovert Ideal – the omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight.”
“Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who you are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.”
“The word introvert is not a synonym for hermit or misanthrope.”
“Nor are introverts necessarily shy. Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating.”
“At the onset of the Culture of Personality, we were urged to develop an extroverted personality for frankly selfish reasons – as a way of outshining the crowd in a newly anonymous and competitive society. But nowadays we tend to think that becoming more extroverted not only makes us more successful, but also makes us better people. We see salesmanship as a way of sharing one’s gifts with the world.”
“We tend to overestimate how outgoing leaders need to be.”
“We don’t need giant personalities to transform companies. We need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they run.”
“Introverts prefer to work independently, and solitude can be a catalyst to innovation.”
“Introverts are ‘geared to inspect’ and extroverts ‘geared to respond.’”
“Introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of work they consider important, people they love, or anything they value highly.”
Are you an introvert or extrovert?