I’ve just finished ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’ by Susan Cain. It took me a while to get through but it was worthwhile. I first came across Susan in a You Tube video of one of her TED talks. It was something I picked up at the Thinking Digital conference, sometimes known as TED on the Tyne. I read it in the peace and quiet.
I enjoyed the book but…
Introvert or extrovert, these are dangerous concepts. We should rail against them. I always get upset when we try and classify people into different categories. Every time we do it gets us into trouble. Life just isn’t that binary. There are not two types of people. Myers Briggs and its sixteen types puts me in a spin. There aren’t sixteen types of people either. It is my heartfelt view that there are similarities across us all yet everyone is different.
Thou shall not classify.
What the book did do, however, was made me think about the relationship I have with my own team. I have long realised that it is made up of people with individual outlooks, skills, experiences and styles. What I have been less aware of though is that all of us work bet in different ways. Some are good in group situations while others are not. Some are happy in the front while others prefer to be at the back. Some think things through in a flash but others prefer to reflect on issues before making a decision and sometimes everyone needs some peace and quiet.
Sometimes I feel very introverted and on other occasions I believe that I am an extrovert.
It has made me rethink my views on some of our approach to so-called new ways of working. We need to ensure that we have quiet, reflective areas as well as more open and collaborative areas. We need to reflect and accommodate all people types and work styles.