The Power of Introverts – Susan Cain

The subject of this Ted Talk (19.03mins) is the Power of Introverts – Susan Cain.“[Introverts,] the world needs you and it needs the things you carry. So I wish you the best of all possible journeys and the courage to speak softly.” - Susan Cain

The talk starts with a story about how Susan went to school camp and they did a cheer about being ROWDY (not exactly the way an introvert goes about doing things). Susan goes on to talk about –

  • How approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the population are introverts and the rest are extroverts
  • The difference between shyness (fear of social judgement) and introversion (how you respond to stimulation – including social stimulation)
  • How extroverts crave large amounts of stimulation and introverts generally prefer a quieter environment
  • The key to maximising our talents is to put ourselves in the right mode of stimulation for ourselves
  • Schools can be designed for lots of stimulation (which can challenge the introverts)
  • How modern-day workplaces with open-planned workspaces can be challenging for introverts
  • Introvert v’s extrovert leadership styles
  • How human beings have introvert – extrovert tendencies (i.e. there is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert)
  • The power of solitude: “Solitude matters, and for some people it is the air that they breathe.” – Susan Cain
  • 3 calls for action – 1. stop the madness for constant group work; 2. go to the wilderness; 3. take a look inside your own suitcase and why you put it there.

Questions for Reflection –

  • What did this talk remind you of? Were there any ‘a-ha’ moments for you?
  • What was your one take away from the talk?

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