Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts on

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Rules of Thumb

An interesting TED talk by Susan Cain on the power of introverts: how introverts impact innovation and creativity.

Here are some key points she makes (see full transcript)

  • When it comes to creativity and to leadership, we need introverts doing what they do best.
  • A third to a half of the population are introverts.
  • You need to understand what introversion is. It’s different from being shy. 
  • Shyness fear of social judgment.
  • Introversion is how you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation.
  • Extroverts crave large amounts of stimulation, introverts feel most alive and capable when they’re in quieter, more low-key environments.
  • The key then to maximizing our talents is for us all to put ourselves in the zone of stimulation that is right for us.
  • Solitude is a crucial ingredient to creativity.
  • Much better for everybody to go off by themselves, generate their own ideas freed from the distortions of group dynamics, and then come together as a team to talk them through in a well-managed environment and take it from there.
  • Stop the madness for constant group work. Let people come together and serendipitously have an exchange of ideas. It’s great for introverts and it’s great for extroverts. But we need much more privacy and much more freedom and much more autonomy at work.
  • Go to the wilderness and have your own revelations. We could all stand to unplug and get inside our own heads a little more often.

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