Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quiet by Susan Cain

Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking, has been on the best-seller lists on and off for months.  It is there again.  

Cain points out that introverts commonly prefer listening to speaking; reading to partying; are innovative and creative but shun self-promotion, and favour working on their own to working in groups.  Cain documents how human history has led to our undervaluing introverts. Undervaluing the introvert can be detrimental to the workplace, as their creativity is often not recognized.  In team meetings for example, is everyone heard – or just the loudest?  She offers practical suggestions for the parents of introverts.  For example sometimes children need to unwind alone after school rather than plunging into an activity.  She points out the importance of not labelling children as “shy” or “quiet”.

Well known author, Andrew Weil, offers this endorsement of Cain's book, "As an introvert often called up to behave like an extrovert, I found the information in this book revealing and helpful.  Drawing on neuroscientific research and many case reports, Susan Can explains the advantages and potentials of introversion and of being quiet in a noisy world."

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