Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

By: Susan Cain

Reviewed by: Chris Taylor, Actionable Books

The Premise: There are people on your team who think deeply. They will wrestle with a problem longer than most and they excel in strategizing and solving complex problems. They engage in activities that align with their convictions and typically present opinion or insights from a well-researched, well thought out place. Would you like to know who these people are in your organization? In Susan Cain’s hot release, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, the author asserts that they’re the ones not speaking up at your team meetings. They’re the ones who were against your “open concept” office layout (though you may not have heard them say so). They are your introverts.

Despite the fact that introverts make up 30% – 50% of the population, we’re living in a decidedly extrovert-celebrating time and, as a result, Cain shares that some of your top people are being radically underutilized in your business team. In order to fully maximize the capabilities (and contributions) of all our team members, Cain argues that we need to rethink meetings, reporting relationships, and even the physical layout of our offices. Impressively researched and well written, Cain provides mountains of fodder to challenge the perspectives of extroverts and introverts alike.

The Bottom Line: When I say the word “introvert”, what comes to mind? After having now read (and thoroughly enjoyed) Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, my appreciation of the term has been radically altered. No longer does the word conjure images of social awkwardness and shyness, but rather the quiet fortitude that comes from someone in touch with a deeper level of thought and reflection – people who take stock of what they say before they say it and engage in activities and conversations that align with their convictions. While Quiet is most definitely a book of value for introverts, it’s also a great reminder for the rest of us that we’re all human. We all have wonderful features that make us unique, and those characteristics that truly shine when we’re given the opportunity to be our natural selves.

Roundtable Rating: highly recommended for any leader seeking to gain the best from his or her team and a rallying cry for introverts everywhere.

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