I recently read two books that have really made me think.
The two books are by the same author and are filled with information about the power of introverts.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is by Susan Cain. The book was recommended to me by a friend and I can say that it is one of the best book recommendations that I have ever received. It did not take me long to realize that the book was filled with information that could help me navigate a noisy world. It also has better prepared me to teach students in my classes that are at different ends of the extrovert/introvert scale. I do have a larger proportion of introverts in my courses so it is even more valuable.
Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts is also by Susan Cain and is written more for kids and teens. However, it has much better tips for parents, teachers and students that help them make use of their strengths. It also used many of the same stories from the first book so the information sunk in. As a teacher I know that repetition is important in learning concepts and they definitely were often clearer the second time around.
Reading the books was also great validation that many of the coping mechanisms that I use are ones that work.
In Quiet Power one of the concepts was creating a fortress of solitude where you can recharge during the day. This does not necessarily have to be a place where you are totally alone, but a place where you can limit social interaction and focus and recharge. For me this is often sitting in the cafeteria and reading a book while eating my lunch. Quiet reading is my fortress of solitude.
The first chapter of Quiet starts off by talking about Dale Carnegie and the course that he created to help people overcome their fears of public speaking and how to interact with people. Later in the book it also talks about how Warren Buffett used to dread public speaking before he took a Dale Carnegie course.
Back in 1994 I took a Dale Carnegie course after it was recommended to me by some very close friends. Looking back today this was a very good decision. It really helped me to interact with customers at the time and also helped set me on a path toward teaching others.
I have many more thoughts about the Dale Carnegie course, but will perhaps share some of them in a future post.
I definitely want to thank my friends again for their recommendations, both for the course and the books.
I pass the same recommendations on to you.