One-third to one-half of people are introverted by nature. They tend to think more deeply about fewer things and consider all the angles before making commitments, and are also more likely than not to be labeled "shy," "antisocial" or "unfriendly"--any of which can be fatal in our extrovert-driven, networking-intensive professional and cultural worlds. Yet, as Susan Cain's Quiet points out, introverts also offer vitally important and useful ways of getting things done.
Quiet reveals how introverts may provide a crucial balance against the gregarious "leap first, look later" approach favored by so many extroverts. During the recent Wall Street meltdowns, extroverts at many of the leading banks rushed into potentially risky decisions with too much confidence and too little second-guessing--to predictably disastrous result. Cain suggests that mixing in a few introverts, less likely to have taken serious risks without weighing the consequences, would have prevented or reduced the deep damage that occurred to the financial system.
Quiet also provides insight for introverts, their loved ones and their colleagues about what it means to be introverted, what particular benefits introversion can provide and how to incorporate introverted folks into an extroverted world so that all benefit. Her chapters on dating introverts and raising introverted children are especially readable and insightful, promoting the collective interest in the gifts of introversion while managing to make both introverts and extroverts feel there's nothing wrong with who they are. Quiet is a fascinating, easy-to-read book on a topic we can no longer afford to overlook. --Dani Alexis Ryskamp, blogger at The Literary Cricket