Thursday, January 01, 2015

Review of "Quiet" by Susan Cain - An Extraordinarily Insightful Look At Introverts In An Extrovert's World

I received this book as a gift from my sister, who is a self-proclaimed introvert.  As an over-the-top extrovert, I wondered what I might get out of reading "Quiet," other than the obvious advantage of gaining a better understanding of how my sister views the world.  The answer was that I got a great deal more from this book that I could have imagined.  Susan Cain has brilliantly gathered research data and vignettes from her own experiences and those of fellow introverts to create a work that is revolutionary.

One of the things that made this book so compelling was my sense of personal connection to many of the places, movements and institutions she highlights in her research - Harvard Business School, Saddleback Church, Silicon Valley, The Great Awakening.

This book has deep value for a broad range of readers.  It contains valuable information for educators and for parents about how to create an environment that maximizes the learning potential of both introverts and extroverts.  In the same vein, it speaks to the necessity of factoring in the full extroversion-introversion spectrum in building teams in a business setting.  Anyone who is in a leadership or a management role can benefit greatly from the insights that Ms. Cain provides.  Since anywhere from 33-50% of the U.S. population are wired as introverts, we all encounter them in our families and in our circle of friends and business colleagues, so understanding how an introvert experiences the world is important for each one of us.

I have already begun recommending this book to friends and to clients in my executive coaching practice.  So my sister's thoughtful Christmas gift is turning out to be a gift that keeps on giving.

Thanks, Di!



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