“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” Stephen Hawking
About a year ago, one of the ORMIT management trainees told me about a very interesting book he read. “While reading this book I had a lot of Aha-moments “he said, “it might be an interesting read for a coach as well”. And so it was.
The book he was talking about, was the bestseller “Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t stop Talking” written by Susan Cain. Cain, an Introvert herself, took seven years to dive into the not very well known and often misinterpreted world of the more introverted among us. Her findings were astonishing, funny, surprising, recognisable,… They triggered me to find out more about the subject and to translate this information in my job as Talent Development Manager (TDM) @ ORMIT.
A quiet revolution @ ORMIT
Cain states that during decades we underestimated the power of Introverts. As research and findings display more and more often, Introverts and especially their leadership potential, are often being overlooked in society while extroverted qualities are becoming emphasized in nearly all aspects of our daily lives.
As TDM @ ORMIT I manage and coach management trainees during their 26months development programme. I help them to develop their competences and personal leadership so they can become both result and people oriented leaders. This means that the more, the deeper, the fuller I get to know the Human Nature, the better I can coach my trainees, both Extroverts and Introverts.
I get to meet a lot of clients in very diverse branches and industries on all kinds of levels. I need to understand what the company’s needs are and what the culture is like. I try to figure out whether it’s a more extroverted or introverted environment. During coachings the trainee and me have a look at all this and see what this means to him/her and how he/she can best interact to reach the deliverables.
Taking it one step further
Since I read Cain’s book and saw her TED talk, rated by Bill Gates as one of his favorites, I discover more and more every day about the world of Introverts. I follow all sorts of communities (Facebook pages, blogs, Twitter, Pinterest,..) that apparently picked up the same “virus” as I did. It results in huge quantities of refreshing view points and suggestions of new ways of working.
I wanted to implement some of these findings and so I poured some of the information into a workshop for an ORMIT Inspiration Session. During these Inspiration Sessions we invite clients to a workshop on a topic we believe to be interesting to share. It was a great platform to pass on all that I gathered so far, to put the subject on clients’ agendas, and even launch maybe a bit a quiet revolution in the Belgian business environment…
The session made clear that the need is there. People realise more and more that we live in an extroverted world which is not easy to live in for Introverts. Most of all there’s need to talk about this and to look for new, other ways of working.
Food for thought and action
It’s certainly food for thought. However there’s also the pitfall of Extroverts who feel involved and who might want to change everything immediately and launch a whole bunch of action plans. What Introverts prefer is what they call themselves “The quiet revolution”. There’s a need for a revolution, there’s a need for change. This need is translated into a need to take a step back and reconsider the way we have been doing things until now. And change things, bit by bit.
How to adapt our society, our companies, our private lives to balance again a bit more both introverted and extroverted worlds, is a challenge laying ahead of us. It’s great fun to be part of this revolution.
- Susan Cain – Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t stop Talking, 2012