Appreciating a Preference for Introversion

I have had the pleasure of getting to know many people whose preference for introversion is obvious in their interpersonal relationships – including their relationships with me, an avowed extrovert. In her recent excellent bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, I was reminded of the many famous and talented introverts who have given the world great things. The contributions of Albert Einstein, Warren Buffet, Barbara Streisand, Bill Gates are unprecedented and undeniable. I realize that with age and experience I am getting better at being a good listener when I am with people whose preference is for Introversion. Even though I still find the silence disconcerting, I am trying to better understand and appreciate it, and, through my own silence, enable both my own reflections about the nature of our conversation, as well as the ability of my introverted colleague to choose where to take the next part of our discussion. It’s hard work though very worthwhile for both of us.

Collaboration: A Pair of Leopards at Dusk

What a thrill on our last drive in the Serengeti to find and observe these beautiful creatures – a mating pair of leopards in an unusually-formed acacia at dusk. Their partnership is unmistakable, their collaboration is a life saver for both of them, their link to complexity, diversity and complex adaptive systems is both unmistakable and inspiring. I can’t imagine losing these shy creatures because there are too many humans on the planet resulting in more and more habitat loss. As eco-tourists, are we helping or hindering? Hard to know!