I am an introvert, but most people who’ve worked with me, and know me in my various leadership position would think otherwise. In leadership discourse and discussions, extroverts have received far more accolades and attention compared to introverts. Most talk on teamwork, too, focus on extroversion and the ability of people to connect and influence other people.
But what about introverts?
What if there are people who really work best alone?
In the following TED talks video, Susan Cain presents the power of introverts (yay!) and encourages organizations and companies to create spaces for introverts and enable them to be themselves, which in turn, will bring out the best in them.
I could totally relate with her story about packing books for a camp and that it was a totally valid way to spend social time!
About Susan Cain (from TED.com):
Susan Cain is a former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant — and a self-described introvert. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts, notes Cain in her new book Quiet. Although our culture undervalues them dramatically, introverts have made some of the great contributions to society – from Chopin’s nocturnes to the invention of the personal computer to Gandhi’s transformative leadership. Cain argues that we design our schools, workplaces, and religious institutions for extroverts, and that this bias creates a waste of talent, energy, and happiness. Based on intensive research in psychology and neurobiology and on prolific interviews, she also explains why introverts are capable of great love and great achievement, not in spite of their temperaments — but because of them.
“I prefer listening to talking, reading to socializing … I like to think before I speak (softly).” – Susan Cain