Saturday, August 9, 2014

Quiet please I'm thinking

I have been reading the book 'Quiet' by Susan Cain who raises the question how did we go from Character to Personality without realising we had sacrificed something meaningful along the way.

That 'something meaningful' where space is provided to process, create and be productive. Where quiet reflection is valued as highly as group interaction.

That 'something meaningful' where thoughts can be internal for a time before they are shared. Where group thinking and consensus does not allow the opinion of a few to dominate.

That 'something meaningful' where shouting is not required to be heard. Where deep thought is as important as making a statement. Where diversity includes room for introversion as well as extroversion.

In the noise that exists in work and life, through shared experiences, group activities and team connectedness, there is limited attention given to the need for 'quiet.' Solitude and thinking independently are not negative behaviours. An intense focus on a problem can deliver creative solutions. We need to find ways to enable this and not take away from the contribution of those who need to break away from the group noise to find their own thoughts.

One thing is for sure, there is more noise than ever before. A no other time has self expression been more accepted or encouraged. As pointed out in 'Quiet', the on-line space has created an even playing field for introverts to promote and share their ideas, without the restrictions or difficulties they would encounter in group situations.

The book 'Quiet'  is a voice for introverts, more importantly it challenges the popular views on how we should interact and work together. It is true that extroversion is admired and has become the default preference for how we operate. Extroversion can be trying when there is too much of it, and even demoralising if you find it difficult to speak up.

Finding the balance is key for break through thinking, work satisfaction and personal development.

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