Making the Case for a More Introvert-Friendly World

I recently watched this TED Talk on the power of introverts, and, being an introvert myself, was inspired by Susan Cain’s insights. So many of her points were spot on, and I wanted to share her wisdom with the GovLoop community.

Cain begins her TED Talk by telling the audience a story about her childhood summer camp experience. An avid reader, she brings a pile of books with her to camp, only to discover that reading is not exactly encouraged in such a setting. She goes on to describe how the world has become increasingly extrovert-oriented – desks in classrooms are arranged for maximum group work opportunities, and offices are more open and social. While such changes are not necessarily bad, they can make it harder for introverts to do their best work. Solitude is often crucial to creativity – I know that I do much of my best work when I’m working alone in a quiet space.

Susan notes that introverts are more likely to be passed over for leadership positions, despite the fact that they’re often better leaders because they’re less likely to take outsize risk and more likely to encourage others’ ideas.

Lots of big problems to solve, and we need everybody – introverts included – on board.

I encourage folks to check out the entire TED Talk, for more info and insights on the power of introverts.

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David B. Grinberg

Nice post, Ami. Introverts are people too. Introverts bring their own unique skill sets and talents to the table. They are an integral cog in the machinery of successful teamwork and should not be overlooked for superficial reasons.

Carol Davison

According to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Introverts are people who lose energy to other people. Extroverts gain energy from other people. It doesn’t have anything to do with needing to learn anything, not liking people, being insecure, or shy. Forcing introverts to work in groups unnecessarily exhausts and stresses us, causing us to make mistakes and underperform. That’s why I ride the Quiet Car on the train, go directly home, lock the door and turn off the phone so I can rechange for tomorrow’s work. Because of my introversion, I normally only have the energy to play with my friends on weekends. Since we all soar using our strengths and wallow in our weaknesses let’s learn to respect each others strengths and fill in for each other’s weak spots. For example just today I had to call the IT Help Desk to perform last rites on my computer. In turn, I can help them manage performance effectively and efficiently. All the employees get to work in peace and life is good.