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As an introvert, this scares me.
Old 03-06-2012, 10:42 AM   #1
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As an introvert, this scares me.

I received this on my listserve for preschool issues. I know many of us here are introverts as I am. I see more and more of committeess, partnerships, etc. being prized for grant applications and funding in the nonprofit world. It has a great deal to do with why I want to retire and just stay at home with my husband and pets and read.


The New Groupthink
March 6, 2012
The heart is the first feature of working minds.
-Frank Lloyd Wright


"Solitude is out of fashion. Our companies, our schools and our culture are in thrall to an idea I call the New Groupthink, which holds that creativity and achievement come from an oddly gregarious workplace...Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in." This is the message of alarm that Susan Cain promoted in New York Times (January 15, 2012). She continues...

"But there's a problem with this view. Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption. And the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted...They're extroverted enough to exchange and advance ideas, but see themselves as independent and individualistic. They're not joiners by nature.

"One explanation for these findings is that introverts are comfortable working alone -- and solitude is a catalyst to innovation. As the influential psychologist Hans Eysenck observed, introversion fosters creativity by 'concentrating the mind on the tasks in hand and preventing the dissipation of energy on social and sexual matters unrelated to work.'"
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:24 PM   #2
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As the influential psychologist Hans Eysenck observed, introversion fosters creativity by 'concentrating the mind on the tasks in hand and preventing the dissipation of energy on social and sexual matters unrelated to work.'"
I don't know who Hans observed, but I wonder if he has a theory or did he actual do control group studies.

The bold print was inserted by me.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:03 PM   #3
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I don't think that you should find this worrying. We all need our peaceful time. Some of us more than others. I found the quote rather positive (even if you put credence in quotes).

If you have or are involved with preschoolers, you are in a most fortunate time of life.

I have a friend of very long standing who was not outgoing at all who chose to deal with applications and funding in the nonprofit world. She felt that she needed to do so. I am not sure how much real good came out of it, especially since it stressed her so much. Her kids turned out great, though.

Take heart. Do what you need to do, even if it is staying at home with your husband and pets and read.

Be well.

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Old 03-06-2012, 01:10 PM   #4
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I don't think that you should find this worrying. ... Do what you need to do
Release your inner honey badger.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:21 PM   #5
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I said it worries me in the sense that it seems like work in school and the workplace is more and more in teams, partnerships, committees, etc. I am not worried for myself, but for young introverts who will probably be dealing with this group work during their lives. When I went to school, I was seldom asked to work in a team for a grade, thankfully.

I work at a nonprofit where we care for infants to preschoolers. I love that I can be around children, but at the same time, the majority of my work is writing grants, planning budgets, submitting applications, etc. I get to work at my desk alone about 75% of the time. I hope to retire in a couple of years.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:36 PM   #6
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Ally, I get it. When I wrapped up my BS degree a few years ago, the entire program was this group/collaborative thing and it sucked completely. I don't work in groups, at all, and I require being left alone at work in order to function. Trust me, I worry, too. Because there is nothing more awful than having to work closely with people who are idiots.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:21 PM   #7
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Yes, Sarah, you get it. What I hated was occasionally working on a group project for a grade, knowing that I am going to be the person doing all the work, because I want the grade, and the others knew that about me, and so they could slack off.

But then I would realize, that hey, I can still work alone for the grade, I just have to share it in the end. Maddening, but less so that trying to push others along who mainly just want to visit with each other. lol
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:37 PM   #8
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Oh yes~ Brainstorming: getting good ideas from the socially inferior, to give credit to the golden boys/girls.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:04 PM   #9
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On the other hand:


Loneliness, poor health appear to be linked
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:41 PM   #10
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Because there is nothing more awful than having to work closely with people who are idiots.
+1 !!!
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:23 AM   #11
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Solitude does not equal loneliness.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:39 AM   #12
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Ally, I get it. When I wrapped up my BS degree a few years ago, the entire program was this group/collaborative thing and it sucked completely. I don't work in groups, at all, and I require being left alone at work in order to function.
I was that way too, noticing it especially when I started on the MS. Everything had to be in collaborative teams and I hated it. Not that I minded working on a piece of a project so much, but the time wasted on group yakking about it was a bit much.

Kind of the antithesis of a manager (who not surprisingly was well liked) who said "My job is to look out for the troops, make sure they have what they need to do their jobs, and then get out of the way".
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:42 AM   #13
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Because there is nothing more awful than having to work closely with people who are idiots.
How about for people who are idiots?
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:38 AM   #14
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:10 AM   #15
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How about for people who are idiots?
That sucks too, but somehow is less repellent, because it is easy to be a star when the mayor of your village is an idiot.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:25 AM   #16
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Actually, I wouldn't sweat it, the true introverts won't notice the social pressure and will just do their own thing anyways.

Although they will be stuck during the school years. School stinks if your introverted anyways, it will just have a slightly different kind of odor.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:56 AM   #17
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Ally, I get it. When I wrapped up my BS degree a few years ago, the entire program was this group/collaborative thing and it sucked completely. I don't work in groups, at all, and I require being left alone at work in order to function. Trust me, I worry, too. Because there is nothing more awful than having to work closely with people who are idiots.
Even when they are not idiots, "group think" is often dominated by people with the loudest voice.

I enrolled in a business class in college with about 40 other students. On the first day of class, the instructor conducted a hypothetical experiment. The scenario was that you were an airplane pilot who crashed in northern Canada. No one knew where you were. There was a list of 30 survival supplies, and you needed to rank these supplies in order of desired priority. The list consisted of everything from a map, compass, pocket knife, to a wind-up alarm clock.

We first worked independently to prioritize the list of survival supplies. Then we got into groups of 5 or 6, brainstormed, and prioritized the list as a group. The responses where compared to those from survival experts. The purpose of this experiment was to demonstrate that the results from "group think" would be better than the results from each individual.

But that wasn't so in my case. I had the highest individual score in the class (also higher than all of the group scores). However, the score from my group was not very good. My group was dominated by 2 individuals who thought they knew everything and did not listen to others. Come to think of it, they were idiots too.

I ended up dropping the class after that first day. Clearly, this type of environment was not for me. I've had similar bouts of group think since that class 30 years ago. Although I dropped the class, that first day did teach me an important lesson. While it is important that I obtain input from others, in the end, I need to rely on myself. Don't be misled by smooth talkers or strong personalities.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:17 PM   #18
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I ended up dropping the class after that first day. Clearly, this type of environment was not for me. I've had similar bouts of group think since that class 30 years ago. Although I dropped the class, that first day did teach me an important lesson. While it is important that I obtain input from others, in the end, I need to rely on myself. Don't be misled by smooth talkers or strong personalities.
I drop into passive-aggressive mode at that point, and, like you, leave the room when I can.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:45 PM   #19
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I ended up dropping the class after that first day. Clearly, this type of environment was not for me. I've had similar bouts of group think since that class 30 years ago. Although I dropped the class, that first day did teach me an important lesson. While it is important that I obtain input from others, in the end, I need to rely on myself. Don't be misled by smooth talkers or strong personalities.
+1 Often those who talk the most in a group situation are doing so to try to further their own best interests, instead of finding the best solution to the problem. The lesson I learned was to listen respectfully to their opinions, take them into consideration, and afterwards to determine what needed to be done and do it. Then after that I had the additional task of couching what I had done in appropriate terms to make it seem like this was what the group suggested in the first place. Surprisingly, this never was very hard to pull off if I put a little effort into it and often I was praised highly for being such a great team player. I think nobody really cared about what was actually done, as much as they cared about who thought of it and the aspects relevant to (office) politics.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:07 PM   #20
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I agree with much of what has been said about groups. At my work, i am an introvert managing a group of extroverts. Fortunately, they are intelligent, good people who motivated. Every once in a awhile, I have to step on their exuberance when they are become overbearing or reacting too emotionally, but it's not often. They can't figure out how I'm always so calm, factual and rational. I can figure out how they are always so enthusiastic and LOUD....haha..
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