At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the 20th century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.
Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts--from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a "pretend extrovert."
This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.
©2012 Susan Cain (P)2012 Random House
"An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike." (Kirkus)
"Cain gives excellent portraits of a number of introverts and shatters misconceptions. Cain consistently holds the reader’s interest by presenting individual profiles, looking at places dominated by extroverts (Harvard Business School) and introverts (a West Coast retreat center), and reporting on the latest studies. Her diligence, research, and passion for this important topic has richly paid off.-" (Publishers Weekly)
"An intelligent and often surprising look at what makes us who we are." (Booklist)
I enjoyed Susan Cain's TED talk and decided to pick this up to hear her elaborate on the topic of introverts.
As I am one myself I was curious as to where the scientific community where in their understanding of the subject.
Susan obviously is extremely biased in her praise for introversion but does attempt to balance her opinions out with warnings throughout the narrative.
Those that are introverts will enjoy listening to this as there will be many "ah ha" moments for them.
"Know thyself" is one reason alone to pick this up.
I feel like the author is very defensive about being quiet.
I find the book disappointing due to her be so defensive.
Intelluctual, thought provoking.
The new approach and the gripping information.
I liked the review of the famous people who are introverts.
Extrovert versus introvert.
Well written and unbiased, it is particularly gripping for people who are curious about social skills.
A journalist's view of introversion, everything from psychology stuides to attend Harvard Business School campus, to her own experience as a attorney. Down to earth and well written Recommended for innies and outies!
What an affirmation! While listening to this book, I was constantly reminded of Al Franken’s Saturday Night Live character, Stuart Smalley, and his mantra, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” Well, those who understand me do. Full disclosure, according to the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, I’m an ISFJ.
There were so many points of affirmation for me—things I intuitively knew. Things I’ve tried to share with others mostly to no avail. This book supplies all the data I need to support my case. Unfortunately, I don’t think the people who need to read/listen this book (extroverts) will.
The book is not an “introverts are superior” diatribe but rather an explanation of how we can leverage personality types most effectively. There is no right or best personality type but like life in general, we need to understand each other for more harmonious relationships. Whether these relationships are family, work, or social, applications of understanding are documented throughout the book.
There was one example in the book that hit particularly close to home. Although SAT or IQ scores do not support it, people who talk more are perceived as leaders. And, which personality type talks more? Extroverts. Now, assume that both extroverts and introverts have an equal amount of good ideas. Who is going to get their way more? Extroverts. This could be dangerous because they’re going to get their way more meaning that many of their bad ideas are also going to be implemented.
Oh, another thing I intuitively knew but now have support for is brainstorming sessions. Studies show the larger the number of people involved in a session, the less effective they are. A 9-member group is less effective than a 6-member group which is less than effective than a 4-member group which is less effective than a 2-member group. The suggestion is to conduct brainstorming sessions electronically. Collect comments and then share them anonymously and build from there. One of the reasons is that most introverts are better writers than speakers.
Other examples from the business world give tips for how both introverted and extroverted leaders can best work with their subordinates of each type. Take advantage of each of their strengths. Such as how studies show that introverts “inspect” and extroverts “react”. Neither adjective should be taken as derogatory but instead as strengths. Allow introverts time to examine and solve. Studies show they are more persistent trying to solve unsolvable problems. The famous introvert, Albert Einstein said, “It is not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” My hero.
A final word on the narration—fantastic. Please listen to rather than read this book. Kathe Mazur does a perfect narration in a “Quiet”, calm, soothing voice. Very appropriate “in a noisy world that can’t stop talking”.
Traveler. Artist. Dreamer.
Among the best
My reaction was a more "quiet" one. It was a realization being introverted is OK and that plenty of successful people were also introverts. I know it doesn't sound like much, but being OK with being you is very powerful.
I identified amazingly with the findings in this book, especially with the insights of how introverts and extroverts interact with each other in the workplace. I think the author might have gone into a bit more depth in how companies could improve "diversity" in the workforce by seeking better balance between these two characteristics in addition to the traditional parameters of sex, race, ethnicity, etc. The large corporations I've worked for have always prefered style over substance for higher level leadership, so I thought that paralleling personalities with these two characteristics was very good. I sent a copy to my daughter, who is an introverted high school principal, for reference in dealing with her quiet, artistic, and intellectual types.
The narrator's voice was excellent. The stories contained in the book really drew me in and I am looking at some of the things in my life in a different way. I highly recommend it for people interested in cultural diversity, introverts and extroverts.
I liked the many different topics that were covered. The author investigates both classic ideals of modern behavior in an introvert vs extrovert sense, as well as diving into new research on personality traits as related to classic introvert and the new thinking on self-monitor and high sensitivity. Another interesting aspect of the book is the discussion on how introverts classically feel shame for enjoying solitude more than social events. This topic crops up in multiple places and was a real "aha" moment for me.
Very soothing voice, good speed. Overall very easy to listen to.
No. There was too much to think about.
I am adding this to a list of books I want to purchase and have on hand for when my daughter (now 1 year old) begins to read on her own. It has a lot of parts that really hit home for me. One of those books that shines a little bit of light on part of you that is "wrong" and makes you realize that no, it's not "wrong" it's just the way you are.
No but I did purchase the Kindle version and hardback to own.
Her cadence really sets the important tone for the points that Cain is bringing up. Her pauses and soft but strong urges brings Cain's message to life... That we don't need to be gregarious or the loudest person in the room.
This book should be mandatory reading for all teachers, parents, mentors and coaches. I cannot emphasize enough how much this changed my own outlook on my life. I teared up at several points with
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