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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

quietbookiconlarge Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Cant Stop Talking
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Quiet is now available for pre-order from the following UK retailers:
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Did you know that thirty to fifty percent (depending on which study you consult) of Americans are introverts?  That’s one out of every two or three people you know. If you’re not an introvert yourself, you probably work with or love one.  But much like women in a man’s world, the quieter half of the population is routinely discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are.

Yet many of the achievements that have propelled society, from the theory of evolution to the invention of the PC, from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the Cat in the Hat, came from people who were quiet, cerebral, and sensitive.  Even in less obviously introverted occupations, like finance, politics, and activism, some of the greatest leaps forward were made by introverts: Eleanor Roosevelt. Al Gore. Warren Buffett. Gandhi.

None of this is an accident.  There are specific physiological and psychological advantages to being an introvert. In my book I’ll tell you what they are — and what we can all learn from the introverts among us, including how to be more creative, think more carefully, love more gently, and organize our schools and workplaces more productively. I’ll also challenge contemporary myths of human nature, including the belief that creativity is fundamentally collaborative, and our preference for charismatic leaders.

QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, is due out from Crown Publishers in January, 2012.

Quiet: The Book
"Cain’s intelligence, respect for research, and vibrant prose put Quiet in an elite class with the best books from Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, and other masters of psychological non-fiction."

- Teresa Amabile, Professor, Harvard Business School professor and co-author, The Progress Principle.

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16 Things I Believe

1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.

3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

4. Texting is popular because in an overly extroverted society, everyone craves asynchronyous, non-F2F communication.

5. We teach kids in group classrooms not because this is the best way to learn but because it’s cost-efficient, and what else would we do with the children while all the grown-ups are at work? If your child prefers to work autonomously and socialize one-on-one, there’s nothing wrong with her; she just happens not to fit the model.

6. The next generation of quiet kids can and should be raised to know their own strength.

7. Sometimes it helps to be a pretend-extrovert. There’s always time to be quiet later.

8. But in the long run, staying true to your temperament is the key to finding work you love and work that matters.

9. Everyone shines, given the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight, for others, a lamplit desk.

10. Rule of thumb for networking events: one genuine new relationship is worth a fistful of business cards.

11. It’s OK to cross the street to avoid making small talk.

12. “Quiet leadership” is not an oxymoron.

13. The universal longing for heaven is not about immortality so much as the wish for a world in which everyone is always kind.

14. If the task of the first half of life is to put yourself out there, the task of the second half is to make sense of where you’ve been.

15. Love is essential, gregariousness is optional.

16.“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Gandhi