This is an amazing book. I am absolutely fascinated by the information I read in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in World That Can't Stop Talking.
I learned so much reading this book, and it really made me think about my life and who I am. I'm not sure you can come away from this book without thinking about whether or not you're an introvert or an extrovert. Given the title, this book is more focused on introverts, but being an extrovert is not made out to be a bad thing.
Ms. Cain discusses the history of extroverts becoming the American ideal over the past 100 years, and how that not all cultures necessarily value extroverts over introverts. Workplace managers, teachers and parents are addressed to be aware of introverts in their workplaces, classrooms or homes, and honor their requirements (as much as possible) they may have for different needs. Introverts have much to offer as extroverts, but are offering themselves in a quieter way.
Ms. Cain talks about "the contemporary phenomenon I call the New GroupThink--a phenomenon that has the potential to stifle productivity at work and to deprive schoolchildren of the skills they'll need to achieve excellence in an increasingly competive world. The New GroupThink elevates teamwork above all else." [p. 75]
Another interesting point that is raised by Ms. Cain: "Open-plan offices have been found to reduce productivity and impair memory. They're associated with high staff turnover. They make people sick, hostile, unmotivated and insecure...they argue more with their colleagues; they worry about co-workers eavesdropping on their phone calls and spying on their computer screens...They're often subject to loud and uncontrollable noise, which raises heart rates; releases cortisol, the body's fight-flight 'stress' hormone; and makes people socially distant, quick to anger, aggressive and slow to help others." [p. 84] It will be interesting to see if this information reaches supervisors and managers, and if cubicles and offices are resurrected in this era of open-plan offices.
Quiet has given me so much to think about, especially in the world of constant information we live in today. It can be hard to shut out the world in order to listen to your thoughts, and/or what your body may be telling you to do, but it's worth it to be quiet.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain, 2012, Crown Publishers, ISBN 9780307352149
This book was sent to me for review by Crown Publishers; no other compensation was offered or accepted for this review.