These days I’m a proud Introvert, but there were many years where I tried to ‘make myself’ more of an extrovert. I found watching these TED talks really inspiring and helped me understand more about the way my brain works – it’s now recognised that there are measurable differences in the brain chemistry between introverts and extroverts. I’m passionate about being our true selves and not adapting our true nature to fit expectations from society.
Bookmark this post for future reference to watch these talks!
This talk makes the great point that we need a mix of extroverts and introverts for teams to be successful. That schools and the workplace can often make introverts feel ‘wrong’ for being quiet. Recognising that introverts and extroverts have different needs in order to flourish as individuals. When these needs are honoured, the team can function most effectively as a whole. Anyone of us CAN lead.
This is a classic short talk from 2014 but still relevant today- her book ‘Quiet’ is also equally great. Susan shares how we can embrace the world as ourselves without having to force ourselves to appear more extroverted. In fact she shares that ‘solitude is a crucial ingredient of innovation and even of leadership.’
She shares about the importance of having quiet spaces within offices and not forcing everyone to be social all the time. We can draw on the strengths of introverts and use this to enhance team performance. Check out her website for more resources for schools and parents.
This short talk by 17 year old Crystal questions why we label being an introvert as ‘wrong’ when 160 million people in the US are estimated to identify as introverts. And makes the great point that if everyone was trying to be the leader, no one would truly succeed.
The more we can accept ourselves as introverts and understand what that means, the happier we can be!
“Many of you are like me. We act out of character. We act passionate about projects we care about.”
Extroverts are naturally under the optimal level of arousal in their brains which is why they require external expression / input. Introverts are naturally over the optimal level which means they need the peace and quiet time to process things. When we can understand this more, we can be more understanding why people chose to do things differently to us.
He also shares about how being passionate about something (or someone) can mean we step outside of our ‘default’ way of being.
This is the absolutely classic TED talk Susan Cain gave back in 2012. When it comes to creativity and leadership, we need introverts and the way they work, even though we’ve been given the message by society that it isn’t OK to be more withdrawn and quiet than others. She also explains the difference between being shy and being an introvert (they are not the same!)
Solitude matters to many people, and bringing this understanding into schools, the workplace and our society at large will help us all be at our best.
In the 19th century we lived in a culture of character, and in the 20th century to the culture of personality driven by larger changes in societal set up. It’s time now to shift back the balance.
And that’s it- let me know how you find these TED Talks and what insights you get from them!
If you want to find a way of working that feels more aligned and in flow for you, I’ve found it really helpful to take a cyclical approach to help reduce overwhelm and also give me permission to have time OFFLINE!