Quiet Influence – The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference

Book summary by Thanh Bui – IT Specialist, School for Family and MWR

Title: Quiet Influence – The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference
Author:  Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, PhD
Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (April 15, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1609945626

A lot of people think effective influencers should always be vocal and engaged in every single social activity because the more you’re seen, and heard, the better chance you can influence people. It’s true that type A personality people are more visible, but that doesn’t mean they’re always effective influencers.  In fact, many introvert individuals and business leaders in various  industries are excellent influencers. Those are called “Quiet Influencers” such as Tim Cook (Apple’s CEO).

“… introverts can be highly effective influencers when they stop trying to act like extroverts and instead make the most of their natural, quiet strengths.

6 strengths of quiet influencers:

  1. Taking Quiet Time: The periods of solitude that introverts crave provide them with a powerful source of creativity and self-awareness.
  2.  Preparation: Careful preparation, which makes introverts feel more comfortable, also makes them very knowledgeable and able to anticipate objections.
  3.  Writing: Introverts’ preference for writing over speaking enables them to influence others through deep, authentic, well-developed arguments.
  4.  Engaged Listening: Introverts are great listeners—they’d rather listen than talk—which is a crucial skill for establishing rapport and mutual understanding.
  5.  Focused Conversation: Introverts don’t like small talk, but they excel at the serious, purpose-driven, one-on-one interactions vital for winning people over.
  6.  Thoughtful Use of Social Media: Oversharing doesn’t appeal to introverts online any more than it does offline, so they naturally use social media in a thoughtful, and more effective, way.

Kahnweiler also includes the Self-assessment tool (Quiet Influence Quotient – QIQ) to help you see how you score on your 6 strengths and how to avoid over/under- using them. Any excessive use of those strengths will hinder your ability to influence people.

The author claimed to be an extrovert and wrote this book based on observations and researches. Nevertheless, I think this book has many valid points and it is still helpful for introverts who have not found their ways to be a good influencer or for extroverts who want to learn different ways to influence people.

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