Saturday Morning Rounds February 29, 2020 - Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can't Stop Talking

Posted by BossB, MD on February 29, 2020
BossB, MD

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What we're reading

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

If you're reading this, there's at least a 30% chance that you're an introvert (probably higher for this newsletter's subscriber base, tbh), and there's a 100% chance that you know and work closely with one. But what does that mean?

A helluva lot more than "shy," as it turns out.

In this book, the author conducts a 4-part myth-busting and truth-finding journey into the land of introversion:

  • The Extrovert Ideal - A history of how extroversion became the western ideal during the 20th century and how that's affected society over the past hundred or so years
  • Your Biology, Your Self? - A deep dive into the myriad traits that correlate with and comprise our ideas of "introversion" and "extroversion"
  • Do All Cultures Have An Extrovert Ideal? - No, and we can learn a lot about soft power from those that don't
  • How to Love, How to Work - A spectacular summary of how to apply what you've learned

One of the best things about Quiet is that it was written to be interesting to both introverts & extroverts, and the further you are toward either end of the bell curve, the more likely it is that this book will be a great benefit to you.

We'll summarize some of our favorite take-aways from the book in our "tip of the week."

Who we're following

The author of Quiet, Susan Cain (@susancain), has an incredibly well-curated Twitter feed that gives followers a mix of the latest findings from psychologists, little nuggets of wisdom & encouragement, and great content (books, podcasts, videos, etc) recommendations. She's also the founder of The Quiet Revolution, the mission of which is to "unlock the power of introverts for the benefit of us all." We definitely recommend giving her a follow!

BBMD tip of the week

Quiet has a lot of wisdom and applicable advice in its pages - here are just a couple of our favorites:

  • On Negotiations:
    • "Anyone can be a great negotiator... and in fact it often pays to be quiet and gracious, to listen more than talk, and to have an instinct for harmony rather than conflict. With this style, you can take aggressive positions without inflaming your counterpart's ego. And by listening, you can learn what's truly motivating the person you're negotiating with and come up with creative solutions that satisfy both parties."

Sounds to us like a spectacular way to maximize emotional resonance and create an informational advantage!!

  • On Lifestyle Design - specifically navigating career transition and deciding if a position or task is worth "faking it" by sometimes acting more extroverted:
    • "First, think back to what you love to do as a child. How did you answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up? The specific answer you gave may have been off the mark, but the underlying impulse was not."
    • "Second, pay attention to the work that you gravitate to."
    • "Finally, pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire."
  • And if you do decide to "fake it" and act more extroverted at times:
    • "...the best way to act out of character is to stay as true to yourself as you possibly can - starting by creating as many 'restorative niches' as possible in your daily life."

Quote we're contemplating

"In her book Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion, Carol Tavris recounts a story about a Bengali cobra that liked to bit passing villagers. One day a swami - a man who has achieved self-mastery - convinces the snake that biting is wrong. The cobra vows to stop immediately, and does. Before long, the village boys grow unafraid of the snake and start to abuse him. Battered and blooded, the snake complains to the swami that this is what came of keeping his promise.

"I told you not to bite," said the swami, "but I did not tell you not to hiss."

- Susan Cain

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PPS - As always, please let us know your requests and suggestions by replying to this email (we read 'em all) or getting at us via Twitter. Which section above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Just send a tweet to @BossB_MD and put #SaturdayMorningRounds in there so we can find it.

Have a wonderful weekend, y'all!