We often praise teamwork and prefer the life-of-the-party to the loner.
But Susan Cain, writing in an article in the January 29, 2012, issue of The Dallas Morning News, reminds us that being an introvert can offer some distinct advantages. Cain is the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
Introverts are comfortable working alone, and solitude is a catalyst to innovation, Cain says. In fact, this author concludes: “Brainstorming sessions are one of the worst possible ways to stimulate creativity.”
Why? People in groups tend to sit back and let others do the work. They often are influenced by what others think.
There are big advantages to working alone without interruptions, Cain emphasizes. “People whose work is interrupted make 50 percent more mistakes and take twice as long to finish it.”
The secret, of course, is finding the right balance. Whether we’re introverts or extroverts, we all need to work alone sometimes—and to work with others sometimes, too. And, we all need to figure out ways to keep interruptions to the minimum.