Now this is what many introverts do, and it's our loss for sure, but it is also our colleagues' loss and our communities' loss. And at the risk of sounding grandiose, it is the world's loss. Because 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 -- a third to a half. So that's one out of every two or three people you know. So even if you're an extrovert yourself, I'm talking about your coworkers and your spouses and your children and the person sitting next to you right now -- all of them subject to this bias that is pretty deep and real in our society. We all internalize it from a very early age without even having a language for what we're doing.
Now, to see the bias clearly, you need to understand what introversion is. It's different from being shy. Shyness is about fear of social judgment. Introversion is more about, how do you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation. So extroverts really crave large amounts of stimulation, whereas introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched-on and their most capable when they're in quieter, more low-key environments. Not all the time -- these things aren't absolute -- but a lot of the time. So the key then to maximizing our talents is for us all to put ourselves in the zone of stimulation that is right for us.
- Susan Cain
Objective: Susan Cain creates a beautiful theatre for presenting her arguments on what introverts are and how they function the best. She equates a lot of her findings to her own real life events and the effects those events had on her growing up creating the woman she is today. I didn’t realize that nearly third to half of the population are introverts, making us think why do we press so hard for collaborative work and open concepts.
Reflective: This TED talk is quite informative and made me wonder, how I can use what I have learned to start creating environments that cater to both introverts and extroverts. Up this point of my teaching career, I had no idea that this character trait even existed, much less lesson plans need to be created to be inclusive of introverts. I can see how I am an introvert as well. I like to work alone and do all my research in solitude. I suppose just because I like group work when in classes, that action alone doesn’t make me an introvert. Coming up with deep thoughts by myself is most likely the leading factor that allows me to categorize myself as an introvert. Looking at my students, those poor guys that are introverts, I pushed them fairly hard to fit into group environemtns thinking that learning happens equally in both character groups.
Interpretive: Looking back at history and being aware of introverts, it makes sense to explore the notion that we need to be aware of different personality traits, some our great leaders were introverts. This doesn’t mean that they are loners, it means that they formulated their thoughts and ideas in isolation. Brainstorming in large groups wasn’t for them, once the idea was formulated then coming together in a group meant possibly seeing their ideas to fruition or getting further input in improving their creations.
We also need to be careful with introverts in an all-inclusive society. Not everyone wants to play together, let’s be aware of each other’s needs and respect their personality style. I suppose the best thing would be to identify personality type first, then create environments that fosters that student’s success.
Decisional: Wow, this was an eye opener for me. I need to harness the energy from introverts and allow them privacy needed to be creative. Once their thoughts are formulated then a further building onto the initial idea can take place if needed. I am also feeling better about myself knowing why I created in isolation but needed additional help in completing my projects. I never liked the creation stage in groups.
It’s interesting that I was forcing some of my students to learn in group environments as the current trends in the education system tend to favor collaborative learning, I’ve ruled out up 50% of my learners by doing so. Some thoughts will need to be placed in allowing for introvert personalities as I create some new lesson plans in the future. This means I would rethink the initial brain storming, mind mapping process and have an exercise for introverts. I will start by asking leading questions during initial icebreaker exercises to draw out personality types.
David Silverman (1993). “Beginning Research”. Interpreting Qualitative Data. Methods for Analysing Talk, Text and Interaction. Sage Publications