Hello everyone, and welcome to the end of the June.
It’s not unusual for me to hear from my coaching clients that one of their ‘problems’ is that they need to speak up more and to think on their feet. In some situations, clients have arrived at these coaching sessions with suggestions from their managers for areas to work on: ‘please learn to speak up more in meetings’, ‘please be more outgoing, network more, get out there’.
In these situations I have asked my clients how they benefit from being quiet in meetings and by not being outgoing. When they reply easily and with energy (and usually with a look of relief on their faces) it reveals that their quietness is their strength. The problem isn’t that they have a problem, the people around them have the problem.
Alert to the plight of some introverts, I noticed over the past few months a number of articles and book reviews about the work of Susan Cain, a former corporate attorney and an introvert, who recently published her book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” (2012). Here are some key points, not from her book, but from the articles about her book (links are at the end).
Cain, S. (2012). Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. New York: Crown
Susan Cain’s website
TED Talk video (19 minutes)
Video RSA interview (8 minutes)
NPR interview with Susan Cain This link also includes Susan Cain’s ‘Quiet Quiz: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert?’
Power of Introverts – Q&A with Susan Cain
Chris Peterson’s viewpoint
Book review by Jock Given
Book review by Jon Ronson
Susan Cain’s blog
Scientific American – Interview with Susan Cain