It’s true. We tend to value extroverted, type-A personalities. But that’s business, right? It’s a cruel world where the loud and agressive move to the head of the pack, and leadership and team work win out over solitude because it’s better than business.
Well, according to Susan Cain, that’s an incorrect assumption that is actually costing business money. In other words, business that is losing out on the power of the mighty Introvert.
Her talk from the February 2012 TED Conference lays out a compelling case for both introverts and quiet time for the extroverted. In her opinion, the workplace has become too focused on constant teamwork and team building which tends to allow the agressive and extroverted to rise to the top.
Interestingly, she encourage workplaces that have cafe like spaces that encourage social behavior and casual interactions. About Susan Cain:
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 bookQuiet. 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.
What about your workplace? Are you overlooking the introverts? And is there real talent there being overlooked? Is there a better way of working that would allow everyone a greater amount of quiet time? What are you losing by overlooking introverts and what they might offer.