Dive in and understand the world of Introverts.
A Book Review – Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
By Susan Cain
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?
To begin with, you may want to understand a bit more about yourself by taking a test at Susan Cain’s (author of “Quiet”) site [HERE].
What’s your result? If your answers are more inclined to the “TRUE” side, then likely you possess an introvert personality. So you might wonder, is this good or bad? The book “Quiet” by Susan Cain shall offer you an answer.
What is this book about
“Quiet” is a self-help book which talks about social stereotypes in the modern day world. Broadly speaking, there are two mainstreams of personalities: Extroverts and Introverts.
As you may have guessed, the author Susan Cain, has always been an Introvert and one day she gained awareness of this and began to explore this matter in detail. Susan did enormous amount of research (including desktop, physical visits and personal tryouts) and placed all her key finding about Introverts into this compact little book.
Susan divided her book into four main parts. The first few talks about history, reasons for the dominance of extroverts and differences between extroverts and introverts. The last part, personally the highlight of this book, is the self-help section written for readers.
“What is an Introvert?”
Susan has made in-depth studies on how you define an Introvert. Quoting from the book based on an influential psychologist, Introverts are “drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling” and “focus on the meaning they make of the events swirling around them”.
Simply put, Introverts generally show a relatively quiet character and some form of passiveness. They do not like to talk a lot and tend to think more and preferred solitary to social events.
Due to advancement in society landscape and heavy influence by media, we live in a world where the majority public praises and encourages proactiveness. The “cool” and “bright” kids at school are always those who are athletic, talkative and showed enthusiasm. They are often whom we refer as the Extroverts.
The quiet crowd, the Introverts, are often left out and has less say on major decisions. But is this the truth? Susan thinks the otherwise.
Susan pointed out that at least around 1/3 of us in the world are Introverts, and there are famous leaders in various fields. Prominent introvert leaders may include Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak and Eleanor Roosevelt.
There are many detailed studies and aspects about Introverts in the book, so I summarize my learnings as 5 key takeaways in the below section.
It’s time for Quiet.
(Paid link via Amazon)
5 key lessons learned from “Quiet”
1. Introverts and Extroverts work well with each other
Interestingly, Susan found out that Introverts and Extroverts actually work more efficiently with each other. An introvert leader tends to listen more to active participants’ suggestions, and thereby maximizing efficiency by adopting better solutions.
On the other hand, an extrovert leader can easily motivate a team of quiet workers well to focus and maximize output.
2. Open-plan offices are not ideal
Heavily influenced by popular tech companies, we always have the impression that open plan offices are the “new norm” and optimize productivity. Little do we know that these setting actually reduce productivity and impair memory. They also associate with high staff turnover.
Open-plan offices are definitely not ideal work settings for Introverts who usually deliver best with their own private spaces to focus.
3. Introvert and Extrovert characteristics can be learnt
Although our underlying personality type is more or less innate, the good news is that we can learn or unlearn skills and characteristics of the other character genre. As an example, Introverts can be very skilled at socializing even if they do not entirely enjoyed talking.
I have read criticism from some readers suggesting that Susan encouraged Introverts to act like Extroverts in order to gain success in society. Personally, Susan was suggesting that there are major strengths in each character genre, and it would great if a person (either introvert or extrovert) to learn skills from the other genre to improve your overall personality.
4. Identify your core personal projects
Susan believes it is crucial for people to understand their own preferences and work on them. This is especially important for Introverts who have spent large part of their lives trying to conform to extrovert norms. Susan offered three simple steps to do so.
Firstly, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child. This is the root of your dreams when you were small, and they are often the most genuine thoughts to your heart.
Secondly, observe and pay attention to the work you gravitate to. If you truly enjoy doing something, you always like to do them more and vice versa.
Last but not least, pay attention to what you feel jealous of. Being envious of someone else is an ugly emotion, but if you understand it well, you will know what you truly desired in life.
5. Quiet kids can be cultivated
It is important for teachers not to think of introversion as something that needs to be cured. Instead they should understand that introvert students can be very caring, sensitive and possess high intelligence and talents.
Teachers should place equal emphasis and efforts when educating and cultivating the “quiet” group for the benefit of the kids and society.
The Mouse talks to the The Creator
Are you an Introvert?
I think a person who loves reading over socializing, to an extent who would create a book website should be an Introvert… 😊
Own the book
It’s time for Quiet.
(Paid link via Amazon)
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