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America Needs To Move Beyond Its 'Extrovert Ideal'

Our society has an “extrovert ideal,” even though nearly one half of Americans are introverts, says Susan Cain in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts.

This makes it difficult for introverts to stand out. “They have so many strengths,” says Cain, a self-described introvert who wrote her popular TED talk in a week.

The biggest misconception is that introverts are “inherently antisocial” and shy, but that’s untrue. In fact, many of the most successful people are introverts, including President Obama and Twitter and Square Founder Jack Dorsey.

The most powerful combination, Cain says, is when extroverts and introverts collaborate. Together they’re like “a yin and a yang.”

We sat down with Cain to learn about her research and how our society would be better off creating workplaces that do a better job drawing on the strengths of introverts:

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