7 Ways to Use the Power of Powerless Communication

When people think you’re trying to influence them, they put their guard up. But when they feel you’re trying to help them, or to muse your way to the right answer, or to be honest about your own imperfections, they open up to you. They hear what you have to say.

Is Great Courage (Im)possible?

Did you know that political scientists call Holocaust rescuers — that singular group of people who risked their lives and wellbeing to save others — "John Donne's people"?

Thoughts on Super Bowl Sunday

Oh, the Super Bowl. I am always bemused by Super Bowl Sunday, and not just because I’m indifferent (yes, it’s true, I’m afraid I am) to football. It’s the social ritual of the event that strikes me as curious.

Why Atheists and Believers Need Each Other

Here's the question that comes up every holiday season, sometimes explicitly, often not: "Is there a God?" You already know the answers. Some say yes, others say no, and then we argue about it ceaselessly. But here's a different way to look at the question.

Do You Play to an Inner or Outer Audience?

Do you march to your own drummer, or do as the Romans do? The answer to this question says a lot about you.

Are Extroverts Happier Than Introverts? Yes, But...

What kind of happy are you? There are many different ways to define happiness.

Why You Dislike Multi-Tasking

Introverts are not as good at extroverts at multi-tasking, research suggests; our brains juggle competing bits of incoming information less efficiently. On the other hand, introverts tend to be better than extroverts at focusing on single tasks. It's thought that this is a major reason why we enjoy focusing and going deep -- and why we don't like social chit-chat.

Seven Public Speaking Tips from a Coach For TED Speakers and CEOs

My latest step in my Year of Speaking Dangerously was to make an appointment with the lovely Gina Barnett, a respected consultant who works with many TED speakers and C-suite leaders. Recently we had our first session, and it was surprisingly fun. Here’s what I learned:

To Find Work You Love, Ask Yourself These Four Questions

In my book research, I noticed that introverts often spend so much of their lives conforming to extroverted norms that by the time they choose a career, it feels perfectly normal to ignore their own preferences. So here are four questions to help you find work you love:

What Do You Regret Most?

Recently, I had the chance to participate in an intimate salon for 65 women leaders of different ages, hosted by the inimitable Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of the Acumen Fund, and Batool Hassan, a Business Development Manager at Acumen.

Are You More of a Social Psychologist or a Personality Psychologist?

I never cease to be amazed by how different people are. We're all human. We all rejoice when troubadors come calling, love our children desperately, and secretly believe we're going to live forever. But then we're all so different.

Ten Steps to Promoting Yourself and Your Work

Here's a ten-step guide to self-promotion, for those of you struggling with the question of how to "put yourself out there" (and who doesn't struggle, in an era that seems to call for the constant announcement of one's own existence?)

Some People Are More Certain of Everything than I Am of Anything

I love this quote from Robert Rubin, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton, because it states so cleverly something I often feel. If you say “X,” I automatically think, “But what about Y?” and “Is X always X”?

Three Steps to a Rich Inner Life—at Work

1. Set daily goals, so you feel that you’re continually making progress. If you’re writing a novel, for example, you should focus not on the day two years from now when you aim to write “The End,” but on the moment, two hours from now, when you complete your daily 500 word quota.

Do Introverts and Extroverts See Reality Differently?

"Are Extroverts Ruining Psychologists' Surveys?" So read the LiveScience headline, in an article describing research findings that extroverts answer survey questions with more extreme responses than introverts do.

The Best Way to Learn

"We've always known that one-on-one is the best way to learn...but we've never been able to figure out how to do it." Until now. So says Salman Khan, the lovable math nerd behind the much celebrated Khan Academy.

Reading Ideas for the Weekend: An Intellectual Hero, and More

"By acting as if I was not afraid, I gradually ceased to be afraid." For this weekend's reading and viewing picks, meet Teddy Roosevelt, Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi, and Alyssa Pelish...

The Diane Rehm Show (NPR) Takes On Shyness and Social Anxiety...

...and I was one of the panelists. It was a wonderful experience. Diane Rehm is a kind of national icon, and it was an honor to be in the same room with her, speaking into gigantic microphones on a subject I care about deeply.

Um, Ah, Er: Does Hesitation Make You a Better Speaker?

Have you ever wished you could eradicate the “ums” and “ahs” right out of your conversation, and especially your public presentations? Turns out those verbal fillers may play an important role in establishing trust and credibility.

The Power of Silence (Courtesy of Marcel Marceau)

"Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words?" So asked Marcel Marceau, in a remarkable meditation on the power of silence.

Three Introverted CEOs and What You Can Learn From Them

Many people believe that extroverts are more "natural" leaders than introverts, but recent groundbreaking research out of the Wharton and Harvard business schools suggests that introverts often outperform extroverts as leaders. Here are three examples of outstanding quiet CEOs:

How to Work a Crowd, for Introverts

Here's a shocker for you: NOBODY likes "small talk", which is why the rest of the world refers to it as "conversation". When you label face to face communication with another human being as "small", it automatically makes it seem shallow or useless, when it's not.

Watch this Teacher Engage Shy Students Via Twitter

I'm quickly becoming a fan of social media in the classroom, especially for shy or introverted kids. Here's a CNN video of a high school teacher using Twitter to reach his students, especially the shy ones.

Introvert vs. Extrovert Survival Strategies

Recently my family vacationed at a lake full of kids, and I couldn't help but compare two children on the beach. As a pair, they were a perfect example of introvert vs. extrovert survival strategies.

10 Public Speaking Tips For Introverts

Know your strengths and weaknesses as a speaker, and accentuate the positive. If you have a great sense of humor, use it. If you’re not a natural cut-up, don’t try to be. Instead, focus on what you do best. Thoughtful and thought-provoking is every bit as powerful as dynamic and entertaining...

Why Creative People Are Rarely Seen as Leaders, and What To Do About It

Everyone wants to work for, or invest in, the world’s most creative companies. Yet a recent study out of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania suggests that people who show true creativity – those whose ideas are not only useful but also original – are rarely seen as leaders.

Does Feminism Make Room for Shy or Introverted Girls?

In our efforts to instill confidence in young women, are we promoting an ideal of sassy outspokenness that’s just as confining as the 1950s model of docility?

The Quiet Online Book Club is Here–Please Vote For Your First Book Selection!

We've been talking for a while about launching a Quiet Online Book Club. It's time finally to get started! Every month we'll choose a paperback book, and give ourselves three weeks to read it. During the fourth week, we'll meet on my Facebook page for a great discussion. Here's how to vote for your first book selection.

Introverts in the Church

If you have a religious or spiritual practice, do you find your introversion to be an asset? A barrier? Valued? Misunderstood? Here is Reverend Adam McHugh on "Introverts in the Church."

Want to Participate in the Quiet Revolution? Here's How

What would it look like if we could really make our culture more balanced between action and contemplation, between introverts and extroverts? What if we started in our own lives? What if we did it TODAY?