While this may come as a surprise to some, to others it may not, but here it is, I am an introvert. A dyed in the wool, would rather be reading or doing something quiet, need a nap after a lunch date introvert. So I was interested in reading the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain which explores in detail the possible causes and influences of introversion, ways to encourage or overcome (at least temporarily) introverted tendencies and how introverts can be advantageous in a business world designed to be best served by extroverts, group activities, open seating and brainstorms.
I found the book very enlightening and fairly even-handed. As it was written by an introvert, the emphasis was clearly on what advantages or coping mechanisms introverts can use to survive in a world where being extroverted seems to be the preferred state. I do think that this book would be a good read for anyone who works with introverts or is raising an introverted child and since the estimate is that 1/3 to 1/2 of Americans (and Europeans) identify themselves as an introvert, that’s probably just about everyone.
Reading the book helped me to also better understand my more extroverted co-workers and how some of my tendencies may aggravate more than soothe when issues get heated. Mostly, I think books like this help me to realize that everyone behaves differently and that it is often those differences that make us great friends and great teammates.