In a world that can’t stop talking, introverts might have the answers we are seeking, but we extroverts will never know! We just can’t seem to shut up long enough to listen!
Have you ever stopped to think about this problem of extroverts and introverts?
So much insight is being missed!
No matter which way you would define yourself, get a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, and relax through the wonderful TED Talk we are sharing with you today.
It is so fascinating and fun that it’s attracted more than eight million views.
If you are an extrovert, you will be transformed by what you learn. (About one third of your co-workers or family members are not like you, and they can be pretty remarkable if we take the time to let them shine.)
And if you are an introvert, you will jump up and give yourself a high five! Enjoy!
As I often mention, we know books are like artwork: genius is in the eye of the beholder. So we will only pass on tips to good books when they are really, REALLY something extraordinary.
Today’s TED Talk speaker, Susan Cain, has a book out called Quiet. You or someone special might really enjoy it.
I just peeked at Amazon reviews and was amazed to find that it has 4,500 reviews – which is among the most I’ve ever seen in my life – and it scores a 4.5 stars out of 5.
Yep, that sounds like a winner!
The Power of Quiet
Here’s the funny story of how I have come to recommend this book to countless patients and business friends:
A few months ago I was on a flight to Nashville, and fortuitously found myself seated next to a 30-something fellow who had the nicest, meek “energy” (I’m using that word for lack of a better one).
He had a warm, sweet smile as we awkwardly groped each other during our search for the proper seat belts, but otherwise he sat reading quietly through most of the flight with a posture that seemed like he wished he could fit himself into the overhead compartment.
Finally, the outgoing chatterbox inside me burst like a chocolate filled balloon all over him. I said, “So, where are you going today? I’m going to Nashville to… blah, blah, blah…”
I fired off in a staccato inquisition.
He murmured an answer in a thick southern drawl, but I didn’t quite catch it. No matter. I wasn’t that interested in him, now was I?
More staccato interrogation: “Oh, so you’re an engineer! That must be interesting. Where did you go to school? Where did you grow up? Did you have a mentor? Oh, goodness, I didn’t quite catch that… Where did you say you went to school?”
He murmured an answer, a little more embarrassed.
I continued, “Well, that’s a great place! I once had an uncle who… and then years later… and didn’t I read somewhere… blah, blah, blah”
And I prattled on until I could see his kind, watery eyes glancing down at the book on his lap. I took the subtle bait and I stopped yakking long enough to read the cover…
The book was titled QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.
Oops! I guess this interaction was supposed to teach me something new! Maybe something like: Shut up and start listening more often to the quiet people!
After I apologized, probably more profusely than necessary (thereby further aggravating the problem), I did start truly listening to his story.
He was a well-educated engineer, and it sounded like he had lots of great ideas for the company he worked for, but he said his thoughts never get on the table because his boss and co-workers have such big, intimidating personalities that he can’t get a word in edgewise.
He said that most of the time he makes a few subdued attempts to offer his insights with his co-workers and girlfriend, but they are rarely noticed.
And the book on his lap? Well, he knew he needed work in this area of his demeanor if he was ever going to share his thoughts and gifts with the world.
What a lovely chat we had after I finally let him have the stage in my mind!
I learned so much after I got over the urge to finish his sentences. His slow, soft drawl was completely antithetical to my speech and thought patterns, and I could understand exactly what the rub with his co-workers must be like.
He told me the book on his lap was fast becoming like a “how to” manual for dealing with people like… well, me!
Since that day a few months ago, this book has come into my orbit numerous times, when I’ve noticed it on my patients’ lap, or seen it on the table at friends’ houses.
The business and professional people who have been recommending it so highly say about the same thing:
It’s uplifting no matter which personality style you identify with. The introverts feel suddenly empowered, and the extroverts start listening more!
I know which side of that equation I’m on, and I’m all ears now!
How about a few more remarkable TED Talks?
We have an EWC’s Favorite TED Talk page. Check it out and make sure you’ve seen our top 20. Each one will leave you transformed in the best of ways!
Meanwhile, stay open, curious and hopeful.
~ Dr. Lynda
- Cain, Susan. “The Power of Introverts.” TED.com. TED, Feb. 2012. Web. 15 May 2016. <http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts>. ↩