Thursday, May 31, 2012
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. She also did a TED Talk.
Why I Read It:
I saw it "On the Nightstand" over at Mental Multivitamin, and the topic sounded intriguing.
What It's About:
The author, an avowed life-long introvert and Wall Street lawyer, has done all sorts of research into what she calls "the extrovert bias" and how introverts are undervalued in our society. She interviews people from many different walks of life, examines history and research, and shares stories from her own life, all to point to the fact that introverts have their own strengths and have a lot to offer organizations and our society as a whole.
What I thought of it:
Cain is an excellent writer, and I liked her voice - she's one of those authors I can imagine liking if we met for coffee. And it was also fascinating to think of our culture in this way - a "Culture of Personality" where we sell ourselves and where projecting confidence is more important than actually knowing anything or having a useful idea. As Cain says "there is zero correlation between having the loudest voice and having the best idea".
I really enjoyed the book, and was bummed that I ran out of time before it was due back at the library.
My Take Away:
Be yourself. However you are, that's fine, and that way of being in the world will have its own unique strengths. Overall, I'm getting this message from many sides right now, so it may just be my new goal for myself: to get comfortable just being the way I am and not trying to pretend to be somehow different than I naturally am.