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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SUSAN CAIN is the co-founder of Quiet Revolution and the author of the bestsellers Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts, and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can’t Stop Talking, which has been translated into 40 languages, has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over four years, and was named the #1 best book of the year by Fast Company magazine, which also named Cain one of its Most Creative People in Business. Cain is also the co-founder of the Quiet Schools Network and the Quiet Leadership Institute. Her writing has appeared in the The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. Her record-smashing TED talk has been viewed over 14 million times and was named by Bill Gates one of his all-time favorite talks. Cain has also spoken at Microsoft, Google, the U.S. Treasury, the S.E.C., Harvard, Yale, West Point and the US Naval Academy. She received Harvard Law School’s Celebration Award for Thought Leadership, the Toastmasters International Golden Gavel Award for Communication and Leadership, and was named one of the world’s top 50 Leadership and Management Experts by Inc. Magazine. She is an honors graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School. She lives in the Hudson River Valley with her husband and two sons.
Before I became a writer, I practiced corporate law for seven years, representing clients like JP Morgan and General Electric, and then worked as a negotiations consultant, training all kinds of people, from hedge fund managers to TV producers to college students negotiating their first salaries. My clients have included Merrill Lynch, Shearman & Sterling, One Hundred Women in Hedge Funds, and many more. I went to Princeton University and Harvard Law School.
From all this you might guess that I’m a hardcore, wonderfully self-confident, pound-the-table kind of person, when in fact I’m just the opposite. I prefer listening to talking, reading to socializing, and cozy chats to group settings. I like to think before I speak (softly). I’ve never given a speech without being terrified first, though I’ve given many. And somehow I know that everything I’ve ever accomplished, in love and in work, I owe to these traits, annoying though they may sometimes be. I’ve explored this paradox in my first book, QUIET.
I live on the banks of the Hudson River in an 1822 captain’s cottage with my beloved husband, sons, and magnolia trees. My favorite activities are reading, writing, lounging around cafés, and doing the mambo with my family. I use a lot of old-fashioned expressions. A few times a year, I try to like cooking. I’m insatiably curious about human nature.