Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Those who know do not speak
Those who speak do not know.

– Lao Zi, The Way of Lao Zi

Quiet offers a fresh new perspective on how to interact with people in the business/professional world that is different from most self-help books in the market. Rather than the popular phrases on continuous networking from books such as Never Eat Alone or How to Win Friends and Influence People, Susan Cain shows why it is okay (and could be beneficial) for us to stay in on weekend evenings to read a book or to sit alone at lunch.

In a society that seems to overvalue extroverts and salesmanship, this was a refreshing take on how we should take a step back and rethink how we raise our children, set up our workplace, and develop relationships.

  • We are inclined to empower dynamic speakers. “I worry that there are people who are put in positions of authority because they’re good talkers, but they don’t have good ideas. It’s so easy to confuse schmoozing ability with talent. Someone seems like a good presenter, easy to get along with, and those traits are rewarded. Well, why is that? They’re valuable traits, but we put too much of a premium on presenting and not enough on substance and critical thinking.
  • “Work alone. You’re going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you’re working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team.”
  • What’s so magical about solitude? In many fields, it’s only when you’re alone that you can engage in Deliberate Practice. When you practice deliberately, you identify the tasks or knowledge that are just out of your reach, strive to upgrade your performance, monitor your progress and revise accordingly.
  • Plan your day and activities so you will experience the sweet spot. Understanding your sweet spot can increase your satisfaction in every arena of your life. You can set up your work, your hobbies, and your social life so that you spend as much time inside your sweet spot as possible.
  • “I have naturally formed the habit of restraining my thoughts…We find so many people impatient to talk. All this talking can hardly be said to be of any benefit to the world. It is so much waste of time. My shyness has been in reality my shield and bucket. It has allowed me to grow. It has helped me in my discernment of truth.” – Gandhi
  • Three key steps to identify your own [passion]
    • Think back to what you loved to do when you were a child
    • Pay attention to the work you gravitate to.
    • Pay attention to what you envy
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