QUIET

The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Susan Cain

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.

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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.

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  • Broadway
  • Paperback
  • January 2013
  • 368 Pages
  • 9780307352156

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$16.00

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About Susan Cain

Susan Cain is the author of the instant New York Times bestseller QUIET: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can’t Stop Talking which is being translated into 30 different languages. Her writing on introversion and shyness has appeared in the New York Times; the Dallas Morning News; The Atlantic; O, The Oprah Magazine; Time.com; and PsychologyToday.com. Cain has also spoken at Microsoft, Google, the U.S. Treasury, and at TED 2012. Since her TED talk was posted online, it has been viewed more than one million times. She has appeared on national broadcast television and radio including CBS This Morning, NPR’s All Things Considered, and NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show, and her work has been featured on the cover of Time magazine, in Wired, Fast Company, Real Simple, Fortune, Forbes, USA Today, the Washington Post, CNN, Slate.com, and many other publications. She is an honors graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School. She lives in the Hudson River Valley with her husband and two sons.

Praise

O, The Oprah Magazine 10 Favorite Books of 2012

Christian Science Monitor Best Books of 2012

Library Journal Best Books of 2012

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2012

"Cain offers a wealth of useful advice for teachers and parents of introverts…Quiet should interest anyone who cares about how people think, work, and get along, or wonders why the guy in the next cubicle acts that way. It should be required reading for introverts (or their parents) who could use a boost to their self-esteem."—Fortune.com

"Rich, intelligent…enlightening."—Wall Street Journal

"An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike."—Kirkus, starred review

"Cain gives excellent portraits of a number of introverts and shatters misconceptions.  Cain consistently holds the reader’s interest by presenting individual profiles, looking at places dominated by extroverts (Harvard Business School) and introverts (a West Coast retreat center), and reporting on the latest studies. Her diligence, research, and passion for this important topic has richly paid off."—Publishers Weekly

Discussion Questions

Based on the quiz in the book, do you think you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or an ambivert? Are you an introvert in some situations and an extrovert in others?

What about the important people in your lives—your partners, your friends, your kids?

Which parts of Quiet resonated most strongly with you? Were there parts you disagreed with—and why?

Can you think of a time in your life when being an introvert proved to be an advantage?

Who are your favorite introverted role models?

Do you agree with the author that introverts can be good leaders? What role do you think charisma plays in leadership? Can introverts be charismatic?

If you’re an introvert, what do you find most challenging about working with extroverts?

If you’re an extrovert, what do you find most challenging about working with introverts?

Quiet explains how Western society evolved from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality. Are there enclaves in our society where a Culture of Character still holds sway? What would a 21st century Culture of Character look like?

Quiet refers to the New Groupthink, the value system holding that creativity and productivity emerges from groupwork rather than individual thought. Have you experienced this in your own workplace?

Do you think your job suits your temperament? If not, what could you do to change things?

(If you have children) How does your temperament compare to those of your children? How do you handle areas where you’re not temperamentally compatible?

(If you’re in a relationship) How does your temperament compare to that of your partner? How do you handle areas where you’re not compatible?

Do you enjoy social media such as Facebook and Twitter? Do you think this has anything to do with your temperament?

Quiet talks about “restorative niches,” the places introverts go or the things they do to recharge their energy. What are your favorite restorative niches?

Can you think of a time in your life when being an introvert proved to be an advantage?

Susan Cain calls for a Quiet Revolution. Would you like to see this kind of a movement take place, and if so, what is the #1 change you’d like to see happen?