Tag Archives: Introverts

Review of ‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain

Quiet Book Cover

I was inspired to read this book after I saw the author speak at a TED Talk a couple of years ago and over the Christmas period I finally got round to reading it. Essentially, the book bangs the drum for Introverts, making the case that in today’s world their qualities are under-valued and that society e.g. schools and workplaces are designed to encourage and applaud extrovert behaviour. I really enjoyed it and feel it’s definitely worth a read.

I think it’s helpful in a number of ways.

It makes you very self aware. Throughout the book, you’re asking yourself where you lie on the Introvert-Extrovert spectrum and it helps explain how and why you respond to situations you find yourself in. It also helps explain how your family and friends behave and encourages you to accommodate them and respond accordingly.

It helped me to think about how I will structure and facilitate workshops in the future. Typically there’s a strong emphasis on high energy and group discussions, whereas I think in the future I’ll spend a bit more time encouraging solo work and reflective time to ensure the introverts feel more comfortable and feel able to contribute more fully.

Probably the biggest insight in the book for me was the view that creativity works best during quiet, focused and reflective periods – which introverts love – rather than group-based, high energy ‘brainstorming’ sessions – the traditional ‘ideation workshop’ approach. This is why nowadays, I encourage idea generation to take place individually, in advance of workshops and I tend to use the workshop itself for spotting and sculpting ideas. It really works