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

Susan Cain: The power of introverts (TED Talk)

I listened to this as an audiobook from Audible.

I have always known that I am an introvert, but this book taught me so much about myself that I don’t know where to begin. This book really blew me away and I look forward to sharing it with a lot of friends and co-workers.

I think the publisher’s summary below does a great job, give it a read and if it speaks to you I can’t recommend the book highly enough. If you manage people, have a spouse that is shy or introverted, are introverted yourself, just anyone at all, you should do yourself a favor and read this book.

Kathe Mazur does a wonderful job bringing the subject to life narrates it, I look forward to listening to her again soon.

What has impressed me the most is that I have discovered many of my behaviors are actually done in an attempt to overcome or hide just how introverted I really am. I believe that trying to hide my introverted-ness has been a large negative influence on my entire life; it has left me tired, frustrated, and often angry. Quiet has given me some tools and ideas of how to handle my feelings and desires in much more productive ways. Now it is up to me to use what I have learned to improve the life of myself, me family, and those around me.

From the publisher:

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

I rate this book a 10 out of 10 and recommend it to everyone!

One Comment

  1. Luxembourg Luxembourg April 16, 2012

    In “Quiet,” Ms. Cain explains the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the 1920s and how it is that today we associate talkative, risk-taking, and action-oriented people with intelligence, beauty, power and success. The Extrovert Ideal is so pervasive that influences our work performance, educational policies, political choices, and even the country’s financial health. But the focus of “Quiet” is on exposing the myths and misunderstandings that were born when we as a culture embraced the Extrovert Ideal and turned introversion into a malady to be avoided.

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