Non-fiction Book Group: Quiet: The Power of Introverts ...

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. by Susan Cain

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At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.

Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts--from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a "pretend extrovert."

This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.

There is a file with a list of past and future books through 2012. Go to the top of the Meetup page and click on More, then click on Files.

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  • Elze H

    Everybody in the room self-identifies as introvert. We told personal stories of extreme social avoidance, debated whether Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a rare example of an extroverted scientist, or if he only acts as an extrovert as a public figure; discussed how the workplace and the rest of the society can be hostile to introverts -- this extends to brainstorming, where the most dominant person's ideas usually get pushed through, no matter their quality; and to various "professional development" and "team building" events. We also touched upon the appeal of cults, and speculated about how much stock market crash can be indirectly blamed on extroverts. :-) The discussion often deviated from the book (which is just as well, because I haven't read the book), but this was one area where everybody in the room had personal experience with, and sharing that personal experience was even better than discussing the book.

    July 20, 2012

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