14) Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference

By: Jennifer Kahnweiler

Date Finished: 10.07.13

by Jennifer Kahnweiler

Now for a change of pace… This is not my typical read by any means, but it was the selection for my very first Book Club experience.  I couldn’t get my hands on a copy until the last minute, so it was a mad dash to finish reading this among the other things I needed to accomplish.  As such, maybe I didn’t absorb it as well as I could have.  But on the plus side, I was able to race through the book without difficulty.

Written by a self-proclaimed extrovert with a fascination of introverts, the tone struck just the right chord.  Kahnweiler writes with admiration rather than superiority or defensiveness.  In many ways, she’s a cheerleader for introverts and she clearly did her research.

Premise: Introverts have a unique ability to influence change in the workplace by using their natural inclinations to develop relationships that lead to long-term success.

Good things:

1) The foundation of this book is Stop Trying to Be an Extrovert.  Play to your strengths.

2) She broke the book into six main sections, detailing strengths that introverts possess and how to make use of them.  Pretty standard — but I really appreciated that each chapter ended with a section dedicated to the overuse of each strength.  The emphasis is on balance and intuitively judging the most appropriate course of action for each circumstance.

3) Kahnweiler used real world examples from a wide range of individuals and a wide range of professions.  Certainly much of the book discussed traditional businesses, but the creative fields had a strong representation.  She also used a few examples of community outreach initiatives and thus completely self-initiated.  I gleaned so much more from the variety of disciplines represented than if it had been saturated with office-based principles.

4) As mentioned, it was easy to read.  Kahnweiler writes with authority and intelligence, but avoids jargon and keeps it from getting dry.

Now, she did get formulaic with the excessive repetition of her talking points.  It was nice to have a consistent structure, but there were so many unnecessary sentences which simply listed the section headings.  Also, if I’m spending a chapter with each of the six strengths, I don’t need to have all of them listed three times per chapter.

The sad thing?  This wasn’t actually the book that was chosen for Book Club .

At the end of the day: Not my genre, but well done

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