Quiet Impact: How to be a successful Introvert Paperback – 27 Jun 2014
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International bestseller which will take the UK by storm.
About the Author
Dr Sylvia Loehken is an introvert and a highly in-demand coach and speaker who specialises in how introverts can make an impact in the workplace. Having originally been a rather fearful public speaker herself, in 2012 she was named 'Speaker of the Year' in Germany. She has a PhD in linguistics and communication, and is a qualified coach. She works with many of Europe's leading companies and institutions such as Berlin Regional Bank, Vienna University of Economics and Business, and University of Hamburg.
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Top customer reviews
Firstly, it’s too American. Chapter 1 has a set of questions to determine “Are you a quiet person ?”. Oh good grief. The author concedes that America does not welcome introverts and Japan does. It’s fair to say an introvert in Britain will know they are an introvert. The question isn’t: “are you an introvert ?”, the question introverts need asking is “how much longer will we be treated like excrement until we become extroverts ?”.
It’s also too American because it’s a self-help book, designed to increase the confidence of introverts so that extroverts will treat them decently. If that’s the case, then where’s the book for extroverts that encourages extroverts to treat introverts decently ? Then, having been treated like they’re a human, rather than some worthless sub-species, the introverts’ confidence will improve. I met too many people at University who had deep self-confidence issues because they had been bullied, and part of the reason for bullying was that they were quiet. How about dealing with the causes of bullying instead ?
Secondly, the advice is fatuous. The section on workplace bullying is one, short paragraph that effectively states that introverts find it difficult to talk (oh, never !) and that people avoid dealing with difficult situations (oh, never !).
P177, for example, assumes problems can be overcome by ‘desensitising’. Yes, some can be, but others require a response of “Fred doesn’t do X, therefore we don’t ask Fred to do that in the first place”. Some inabilities are ‘built-in’ and won’t be overcome, however much you ‘torture’ people into overcoming them. What’s needed is the discernment to know when to help someone by being alongside them as they try, and when to leave well alone.
P186, et seq, deals with meetings. The situations are ridiculous and do not reflect the reality of bullish, loud, attention-seeking bullies stamping all over the ‘speccy, nerdy weed’. Nor does the book ever entertain the very real possibility that standing up against ingrained workplace bullying means you might be invited to “explore the opportunities of seek employment in the wider sphere”, ie “You’re sacked” as a troublemaker.
Better would be advice for extroverts, eg silences are good, it allows people to think before replying, so the quality of reply is higher, or information for extroverts, eg I don’t care how energised you are by people, introverts are worn out by people, so they find silence enabling not suffocating, and so on.
Lastly, there are the low production values of the book. It’s printed on extremely cheap paper, never a good sign, that will yellow very quickly. It’s riddled with spelling mistakes, eg p102 has lots of random “z”s infecting the page. There are random interjections of fatuous ‘wisdom’ and observations, plus some sub-headings, in ridiculously small type.
This is not the book that British introverts need to stem the rising tide of extrovert life in Britain, eg open-plan houses with laminate floors when introverts need small rooms with carpets, loud libraries / banks / Post Offices when introverts need good, old-fashioned enabling ‘shush’ so we can concentrate, the end of the tyranny of ‘small talk’ as *the* social skill, and the end of the tyranny of being written off as ‘socially inept’ because we don’t do small talk.
It’s the wrong cultural approach, it doesn’t explain to extroverts what they do that upsets introverts so much, and it doesn’t encourage extroverts to stop these behaviour patterns.
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