I've talked a lot about our obsession with teamwork (and its dark shadow, totally unnecessary consensus), but also the WASPy, milquetoast way people speak in corporate America. Sometimes, "collaboration" is just another word for shared incompetence.
Online schools may be a far more accessible environment for the introvert, allowing introverted students to share without screaming, shouting or swimming with sharks. Just take a look where digital media has led us.
What became clear is that our system of education has intentionally chosen extroverts as the preferred way of being. This realization caused me to begin to reflect on how I could create an educational experience that is more equitable for all.
As a minor key kind of gal, I often wonder: Why does sad music make me feel so happy? Why do I feel so thrilled when Jacques Brel sings of abandonment? Why do I prefer my Chopin in C sharp minor? Why do I love Leonard Cohen so much?
I've done my best to plan at least a few minutes alone in every day -- even if they don't come until the kids are asleep and the dishes are done. And it helps. Knowing what you need and asking for it often does.
It's important for a parent to learn to take delight in a child whose behavior might seem mystifying. In the case of an extroverted parent with an introverted child, it can be learning to see the inner riches of your child that may not always be expressed on the surface.
I was impressed by both Lean In and the Third Metric Conference, though their messages seem contradictory. But I can't say that either one spoke directly to me as a mother of still-young children and a full-tilt businesswoman.
How does a behind-the-scenes news reporter morph into a public speaker? By stumbling around several times, in my case. That's because Dorie Clark had not yet written Reinventing You. She could have saved me some time.
The great benefits of being an introvert don't come from faking extroversion. They come from honoring yourself, knowing what's best for you, and living that as much as possible. Be true to yourself and you'll find being an introvert is not nearly as bad as it's made out to be.
Susan Cain's book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking taps into our growing need for unplugging and recharging. Let us know what your favorite ways are to find quiet in your life.