PIDP 3250- Introverts and Susan Cain

Assignment #4 – Course Journal #2

Objective:  Clearly you need to understand what introversion is. It’s different from being shy. Shyness is about fear of social judgment. Introversion is more about, how do you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation. So extroverts really crave large amounts of stimulation, whereas introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched-on and their most capable when they’re in quieter, more low-key environments. Not all the time — these things aren’t absolute — but a lot of the time. So the key then to maximizing our talents is for us all to put ourselves in the zone of stimulation that is right for us. (Cain, 2012) Now in watching Gordon Ramsey in Hell’s Kitchen, you would think that a kitchen is no place for an introvert.

Reflective: Some of the best chefs in the world, I believe are introverts, especially when it comes to pastry chefs.  When it comes to creativity and to leadership, we need introverts doing what they do best. And interesting research by Adam Grant at the Wharton School has found that introverted leaders often deliver better outcomes than extroverts do, because when they are managing proactive employees, they’re much more likely to let those employees run with their ideas, whereas an extrovert can, quite unwittingly, get so excited about things that they’re putting their own stamp on things, and other people’s ideas might not as easily then bubble up to the surface. (Cain, 2012)

No matter which you are, networking is equally important.  So if you happen to be an introvert, you are going to have to exercise your social muscles so that being around people doesn’t leave you crabby, exhausted, and miserable.  I know what you’re probably thinking:  “I will overcome the importance of networking by being awesome at cooking.”  That’s a viable option for sure, but the trouble is that you don’t know what opportunities you’re losing by not building a web of colleagues. (Hodros, 2014)

Interpretive: I feel it is still important for introverts to work in groups, and to create a sense of learning together.  We need to be teaching kids to work together, for sure, but we also need to be teaching them how to work on their own. This is especially important for extroverted children too. They need to work on their own because that is where deep thought comes from in part. (Cain, 2012)  In a learning community, the overarching goal is learning, but this learning is best achieved in environments where students feel a sense of belonging and where they feel comfortable responding to questions even when they are unsure of the answer and seeking help from the teacher or from their peers when they don’t understand.  Building learning communities that help students feel connected to rather than isolated or alienated from the teacher and their classmates addresses a basic, motivational human need to be part of a social community. (Barkley, 2010, p. 25)  Now of course, this does not mean that we should all stop collaborating — and case in point, is Steve Wozniak famously coming together with Steve Jobs to start Apple Computer — but it does mean that solitude matters and that for some people it is the air that they breathe. (Cain, 2012)

Decisional:  As an instructor it is critical that students are comfortable.  I pride myself in creating a positive learning environment for my students.  We need to embrace all types of learning and individuals in our classroom.  As mentioned it would seem that in the busy world of culinary arts that introverts were not feeling at ease throughout their day, but I feel that is inaccurate.   In the kitchen there are several different stations and positions, now some may not be an introvert’s cup of tea but others make perfect sense.  Some of the best chefs I know love nothing more than to be alone with their thoughts and a quiet kitchen to be able to put their ideas on the plate. In a busy kitchen filled with excitement and extroverts, the addition of introverts and they sense of calmness is welcomed and refreshing.

I am saying that we could all stand to unplug and get inside our own heads a little more often.

Works Cited

Barkley, E. F. (2010). Student Engagement Techniques, A Handbook for College Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Cain, S. (2012, Feb). The Power of Introverts. Retrieved from TedTalks:

Hodros, R. (2014, April). Friendship Really Is Magic. Retrieved from Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts:



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