Having benefited from the talents of their followers, they are then likely to motivate them to be even more proactive. For instance, talkative people are considered more intelligent, attractive, interesting, and likely to make better friends. The school culture, which values quiet, smart students, is something of a cocoon—introverts are accepted and even admired, and studying takes priority over socializing. Multiple studies indicate that extroversion is overrated when it comes to effective leadership. A Brigham Young study of 128 CEOs of major companies found that those viewed as charismatic didn’t perform any better than less-charismatic leaders. For example: Another downside of a focus on extroversion is the business world’s unbalanced preference for bold, charismatic leaders. Cain believes society has a lot to gain from paying attention to … Indeed, Robbins is a salesman, constantly urging attendees at his sessions to buy additional higher-priced packages. Janice Dorn, a “financial psychiatrist” who studies reward sensitivity, has seen the downside first hand. Before he retired, he was a Harvard University psychology lecturer and acclaimed teacher/performer who was so popular with students that his classes were standing room only and often ended in ovations. Adults are chided for being “in their head” too much, or seen as disengaged at work when they want to think rather than react off the cuff. The online environment is more conducive to thoughtful give-and-take, at which introverts excel, because it diminishes the grandstanding that occurs in face-to-face groups. A shift from a “culture of character” to a “culture of personality” occurred at the turn of the century in response to a convergence of economic forces, including industrialization; migration from rural areas to cities; and the rise of retail giants such as Woolworths, J.C. Penney, and Sears Roebuck. On the other hand, extroverts seek interaction through group activities and meetings. Little argues that we have both fixed and “free” personality traits. Yet environment still can affect temperament. Some people don’t realize they’re actually introverts until a change in their lives, such as a divorce or layoff, allows them to live in a way that aligns with their true nature. Still, acting out of character takes a mental and emotional toll. • Social Styles. She volunteered to visit her sister on Friday nights as a compromise, but he doesn’t want to host the dinners by himself. Science writer David Dobbs explained the effect of environment on children with what he called the “orchid hypothesis.” **Many children are like dandelions, able to flourish anywhere. Our culture, including schools, social institutions, and workplaces, celebrates and is shaped around an “Extrovert Ideal”—a belief that the ideal personality type is someone who is bold, sociable, and seeks the spotlight. Cain begins her narrative with the compelling story of Rosa Parks, who launched the Civil Rights movement with the power of one quietly spoken word--"no"--when a white bus driver asked her to give up her seat on a segregated Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955. Again, it’s important for parents to accept children as individuals and see things through their eyes, not relive their own childhoods. In individual conversations, introverts tend to talk about a problem and assume an advisor role, while extroverts talk about more light-hearted topics. For instance, IBM gathered its sales force every morning to sing company songs. When the... Read full summary of Quiet: The Power of Introverts. Thus, introverts prefer shutting their office doors and delving into projects alone—they find mental activity stimulating, while feeling distracted by external stimulation like noise and interruptions by colleagues. Most parents felt extroversion was necessary for their children to learn to succeed in the “real world.”. In school systems, for example, this is reflected in the way classrooms are organized and taught: Desks are arranged to facilitate group projects and high levels of interaction and activity. Today, management and cultural norms in America favor extroversion over introversion, but this was not always so. After college, Carnegie offered a public speaking class in New York City, which was an overnight success. open-plan work spaces) can actually hamper employee productivity. “Quiet” thinkers are responsible for many important discoveries and artistic achievements, including Einstein’s theories of gravity, Chopin’s Nocturne, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. We’ve built our society almost entirely around extroversion. Other Asian-American professionals sought training in American-style extroversion. In contrast to brainstorming in a group meeting, well-managed online brainstorming groups are effective at generating ideas. Yet introverts have many underappreciated strengths, including empathy, persistence, concentration, creativity, and the ability to solve complex problems. Robbins’s message, however, is that extroversion not only ensures success but also makes you a better person. Because they stop and reassess, introverts are better able to learn from setbacks or mistakes and to foresee future problems. Besides helping them avoid financial disaster, introverts’ caution and reflectiveness can help them excel academically and solve complex problems. Introverts are uncomfortable with emotions, so they become quiet and dispassionate when dealing with a conflict. Extroverts are more action-oriented and rewards-sensitive, while introverts tend to work more slowly and deliberately, and are relatively less attracted to wealth and fame. It’s important for companies to have both extroverts and introverts in leadership roles in order to maximize employee output. As a manager at General Electric explained, you can’t have a casual conversation—everything you say and how you say it is a presentation. Schwartz used an fMRI machine that measures brain activity. In the Emily-Greg example, the more she backs away, the angrier he gets. Reward-seeking gives extroverts the courage to take chances and take on challenges, but it can also get out of hand. Her sensitivity and empathy enabled her to help change the lives of millions of people. The energy company’s business culture favored risk-taking extroverts, who ostracized introverts and pushed for reckless business deals that ultimately led to bankruptcy. A great deal of research underscores that there are cultural/personality type differences between East and West. There’s nothing superior about teaching this way—it’s a result of society’s bias toward the extrovert ideal. Little, like the best teachers, took cues from his student audiences—for instance, adjusting his lectures if the students weren’t following them. The internet demonstrated the power of collaboration. A 1920 advice manual stressed the need for having “a ready command of manners” sufficient to convince others you are “a mighty likable fellow.” Magazines like the Saturday Evening Post carried columns on the art of manners and conversation. In Quiet, author Susan Cain contends that whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert affects every aspect of your life. For instance, a shaving cream ad declared, “Critical eyes are sizing you up right now.” A Lux soap ad assured women that by using Lux on lingerie, sofa cushions, and so on, they would enjoy “a sure, deep inner conviction of being charming.”. But more talk doesn’t translate to greater insight. To make the experience less stressful, she took a class in public speaking and also taught herself a number of stress-reduction techniques, such as: (Shortform note: View Cain’s 2012 TED talk on “The Power of Introverts” here.). The word, even the most contradictory word, preserves contact—it is silence which isolates. Because it’s involuntary, blushing is viewed by others as an authentic sign of embarrassment, modesty, or humility—people who blush may be trusted more as a result.

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