luni, 14 noiembrie 2016

Susan Cain -"Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking"

In ultimul timp sunt tot mai încântatã de promovarea ideii cã introvertiţii trebuie acceptaţi cu modul lor de a fi, fãrã a fi obligaţi la o socializare intensã și superficialã și fãrã a fi evaluaţi în funcţie de ușurinţa cu care își fac "relaţii" la locul de muncã.
Pe lângã faptul cã te unge la suflet sã afli cã sunt și alţii ca tine, introvertiţii care reușesc sã lucreze la dorinţa și modul lor de comunicare transmit și celor care nu au trãsãturi introvertite accentuate felul diferit în care un introvertit percepe lumea, cu ideea cã aceastã diferenţã este normalã, chiar dacã poate de neînţeles pentru persoanele care se simt bine sã interacţioneze cu mulţi oameni, chiar si necunoscuţi.

"We are […] inclined to empower dynamic speakers. One highly successful venture capitalist who is regularly pitched by young entrepreneurs told me how frustrated he is by his colleagues’ failure to distinguish between good presentation skills and true leadership ability. "I worry that there are people who are put in positions of authority because they’re good talkers, but they don’t have good ideas," he said. "It’s so easy to confuse schmoozing ability with talent. Someone seems like a good presenter, easy to get along with, and those traits are rewarded. Well, why is that? They’re valuable traits, but we put too much of a premium on presenting and not enough on substance and critical thinking."

Susan Cain nu vine sã-i preamãreascã pe introvertiţi și calitãţile lor excepţionale. Dar într-o lume care favorizeazã în mod clar socializarea și lucrul în echipã, este bine sã existe nuanţe care sã arate cã avem nevoie și de oameni cu un stil de muncã unde se cere detașare, liniște, reflecţie, tihnã. Diferenţa dintre introvertiţi și extrovertiţi nu este una de calitate (nici unii nu sunt mai inteligenţi, mai creativi, mai productivi, mai eficienţi decat ceilalţi), ci una de stil.

"[…] if solitude is an important key to creativity – then we might all want to develop a taste for it. We’d want to teach our kids to work independently. We’d want to give employees plenty of privacy and autonomy. Yet increasingly we do just the opposite.
We like to believe that we live in a grand age of creative individualism. […] Unlike the starched-shirted conformists of the 1950s, we hang posters of Einstein on our walls, his tongue stuck out iconoclastically. We consume indie music and films, and generate our own content. We "think different" […]
But the way we organize many of our most important institutions –our schools and our workplaces- tells a very different story. It’s the story of a contemporary phenomenon that I call the New Groupthink –a phenomenon that has the potential to stifle productivity at work and to deprive schoolchildren of the skills they’ll need to achieve excellence in an increasingly competitive world.
The New Groupthink elevates teamwork above all else. It insists that creativity and intellectual achievement come from a gregarious place."

"Introverts are not smarter than extroverts. According to IQ scores, the two types are equally intelligent. And on many kinds of tasks, particularly those performed under time or social pressure or involving multitasking, extroverts do better. […] Extroverts appear to allocate most of their cognitive capacity to the goal at hand, while introverts use up capacity by monitoring how the task is going.
But introverts seem to think more carefully than extroverts […] Extroverts are more likely to take a quick-and-dirty approach to problem-solving, trading accuracy for speed, making increasing numbers of mistakes as they go, and abandoning ship altogether when the problem seems too difficult or frustrating. Introverts think before they act, digest information thoroughly, stay on task longer, give up less easily, and work more accurately. Introverts and extroverts also direct their attention differently: if you leave them on their own devices, the introverts tend to sit around wondering about things, imagining things, recalling events from their past, and making plans for the future. The extroverts are more likely to focus on what’s happening around them. It’s as if extroverts are seeing "what is" while their introverted peers are asking "what if"."

Pentru a-și susţine ideile, Susan Cain alege și exemplele din viaţa realã, interesante și amuzante.

"Before he created the Apple PC, Woz designed calculators at Hewlett-Packard, a job he loved in part because HP made it so easy to chat with others. Every day at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm management wheeled in donuts and coffee, and people would socialize and swap ideas. What set these interactions apart was how low-key and relaxed they were. In iWoz, he recalls HP as a meritocracy where it didn’t matter what you looked like, where there was no premium on playing social games, and where no one pushed him from his beloved engineering work into management. That was what collaboration meant for Woz: the ability to share a donut and a brainwave with his laid-back, nonjudgmental, poorly dressed colleagues –who minded not a whit when he disappeared into his cubicle to get the real work done."

Soluţia propusã de Susan Cain este o înţelegere a specificului fiecãrui stil de muncã și de a forma echipe în care individul nu este obligat sã se conformeze la niște standarde și așteptãri gata stabilite, ci unde sunt puse în valoare calitãţile fiecãruia pentru a lucra împreunã în atingerea unui scop comun, pentru a obţine rezultatele necesare. Eu sunt o adeptã înfocatã a principiului cã, în loc sã ne chinuim cu toţii sã fim mediocri într-un domeniu (de ex. sã învãţãm sã fim lideri, deși nu avem nici o înclinaţie înspre a coordona și influenţa oamenii, doar pentru cã leadership-ul a devenit o valoare obligatorie în ziua de azi), mai bine investim în aptitudinile pe care le avem pentru a deveni excelenţi. O bunã repartizare a responsabilitãţilor în comunitate, societate, organizaţie, instituţie face ca aceste aptitudini sã vinã sã se completeze și sã formeze un tot armonios unde fiecare își aduce propria contribuţie, în deplin respect pentru individualitatea membrilor.

"We tend to forget that there’s nothing sacrosanct about learning in large group classrooms, and that we organize students this way not because it’s the best way to learn but because it’s cost-efficient, and what else would we do with our children while the grown-ups are at work? If your child prefers to work autonomously and socialize one-on-one, there’s nothing wrong with her; she just happens not to fit the prevailing model. The purpose of school should be to prepare kids for the rest of their lives, but too often what kids need to be prepared for is surviving the school day itself."

"The way forward, I’m suggesting, is not to stop collaborating face-to-face, but to refine the way we do it. For one thing, we should actively seek out symbiotic introvert-extrovert relationships, in which leadership and other tasks are divided according to people’s natural strengths and temperaments. The most effective teams are composed of a healthy mix of introverts and extroverts, studies show, and so are many leadership structures."

Sunt și unele gãselniţe generale interesante în carte, cum ar fi preferata mea. Management guru Peter Drucker observã: "The one and only personality trait the effective ones I have encountered did have in common was something they did not have: they had little or no ‘charisma’ and little use either for the term or what it signifies."

Iar pentru cei care se ceartã mereu cu colegii pe aerul condiţionat când lucreazã într-un birou de tip "open space" ceva care sã le meargã la suflet:
"Open-plan offices have been found to reduce productivity and impair memory. They’re associated with high staff turnover. They make people sick, hostile, unmotivated, and insecure. Open-plan workers are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and elevated stress levels and to get the flu; they argue more with their colleagues; they worry about coworkers eavesdropping on their phone calls and spying on their computer screens. They have fewer personal and confidential conversations with colleagues. They’re often subject to loud and uncontrollable noise, which raises heart rates; releases cortisol, the body’s fight-or-flight "stress" hormone; and makes people socially distant, quick to anger, aggressive, and slow to help others."

Pentru introvertiţi, principala idee cu care ar trebui sã rãmânã dupã aceastã carte este:

"If you’re an introvert, find your flow by using your gifts. You have the power of persistence, the tenacity to solve complex problems, and the clear-sightedness to avoid pitfalls that trip others up. You enjoy relative freedom from the temptations of superficial prizes like money and status. […] So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multitasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way. It’s up to you to use that independence to good effect."

Pentru cei care nu-i înţeleg pe introvertiţi, un apel la a trece dincolo de aparenţe și de a accepta faptul cã alţii pot fi foarte diferiţi.

"Whoever you are, bear in mind that appearance is not reality. Some people act like extroverts, but the effort costs them in energy, authenticity, and even physical health. Others seem aloof or self-contained, but their inner landscapes are rich and full of drama. So the next time you see a person with a composed face and a soft voice, remember that inside her mind she might be solving an equation, composing a sonnet, designing a hat. She might, that is, be deploying the powers of quiet."

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