Quiet Leadership, not just for introverts

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I picked up Quiet Leadership because… well, because I’m an introvert and it sounded safe right in my gift set.

In the introduction, Rock, says:

Quiet Leadership is [a]… guide to a new way of having conversations, based on recent discoveries about how the brain works.

Interesting.

Rock continues:

When we are trying to help a colleague think anything through, we make the unconscious assumption that the other person’s brain works the same as ours. So we input their problem into our brain, see the connections our brain would make… and spit out the solution that would work for us.

Really?

As though he expected my question, Rock suggests we keep track of how much advice we get and how often that advice is useful. I decided to play along.

Over the following weeks, I received all sorts of advice, some of it contradictory. For instance, I learned that the growths on my skin are not cancerous. “Get them burned off, anyway,” said one friend. “Don’t burn them off,” said another.

Had I asked for advice? Nope.

Was their advice useful? Not really.

I felt good about my keen observations of other people’s failings. Smug even… until I had supper with a friend. She started talking about… well, it doesn’t matter what… and to my horror, I said, “You should—”

Nooooooo! I bit my tongue to shut myself up.

She graciously ignored me and continued her story.

Later that week, my husband started telling me about… well, it doesn’t matter what… but as he spoke, I realized I wasn’t listening. Rock was right, I was inputting his problem into my brain, and seeing the connections my brain would make. I was waiting for a nanosecond break in the conversation so I could jump in and “solve” his problem with what would work for me.

Ouch.

Rock suggests we read Quiet Leadership slowly, one chapter a week, and do the homework assignment at the end of each chapter. It’s taken me four months to get through chapter 1. At that rate, it’ll be years before I finish. I suspect it will be time well spent.