Susan Cain Kindred Newsletter

Dearest Readers,

According to the Kellogg School of Management, in a typical large meeting, only three people do 70% of the talking. This means that a LOT of good ideas never see the light of day.

Are you one of the other 30%?

If so: believe me, I get and respect your wish to stay on the quiet side — and it’s important to honor your own nature.

At the same time: the world needs you, and it needs your unique insights.

Both these things can be true at the same time.

So, here are three strategies to help you speak more often, and more confidently — while also preserving your right to be you.

1. Prepare what you want to say – points to make, questions to raise – in advance.

Who cares if everyone else seems to be contributing spontaneously? If you’re the type of person who thinks of what she wanted to say only AFTER the meeting is over, then a little advance prep can go a long way. You can also jot down some bullet points beforehand, if you’ll feel more comfortable with notes you can glance at while you’re talking.

2. Speak up early.

I know this may not come naturally to you. But the ideas that get advanced early tend to become “anchor ideas” in a given discussion. And the people who advance them become “anchor people” – that is, others start directing their attention, eye contact, and emotional energy to them. This can create a virtual cycle in which you feel more empowered and encouraged to share further. So, try giving yourself a nudge to be one of the first people to speak up. And see if you like how it feels. (Many people have told me that this one trick was transformative for them.)

3. Use a quota system.

Decide how often you want to speak in a given meeting – once, twice, three times? Once you’ve met your goal, you can keep quiet the rest of the time, if you’d like. Make it a fun, private game with yourself. (And maybe the next time, as part of the game, you’ll decide to increase your quota.)

That’s it.

Three simple strategies. Please try them (or share with someone else). And please let me know if they help as much as I expect!



P.S. Do you know someone who prizes quiet over hubbub, depth over superficiality, and sensitivity over cool? If so, please forward this Kindred newsletter! It’s meant for them!

If you were forwarded this email, click here to sign up!

Want more like this? You might love my books and courses.

Quiet at Work Course


I’m excited to share my new SMS course designed to empower you at work (at home or in the office): as an employee, as a colleague, and as a leader. Every morning for 30 days, through a combination of exercises, strategies, and audio teachings from me, all of which I’ll send directly to your phone, you’ll get the tools you need to communicate, to network, and to lead as an introvert – without having to pretend to be someone else. Instead, you’ll learn to tap the unique and powerful gifts you already have. Would you like to join me? If so, you can sign up below (and choose your own start date)!

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“The best business/management/leadership book of the century.”
— Tom Peters, legendary author and management thinker

Read the book that started the Quiet movement, spent eight years on the New York Times bestseller list, and has been translated into over 40 languages.

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.

Do you react intensely to music, art or nature? Do you love sad songs? Do you draw comfort or inspiration from a rainy day?

If this sounds like you, you might like to check out my new book, BITTERSWEET: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole, which was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller!

The book explores the power of a bittersweet outlook on life, and why we’ve been so blind to its value.

Bittersweet Course

For those who’ve signed up for my new interactive SMS course (audio and written texts from me, delivered straight to your phone–see below for more info!) I hope you’re loving it so far! Here’s what some of you have had to say:

“I treasured the experience…it was life-giving…I looked forward to Susan’s offering every day. The course helped me anchor into the beauty and goodness all around me.”

“Susan’s course transformed my mindset to one of total acceptance of the world as it is: a beautiful combination of dark and light.”

The course is the perfect companion to the Bittersweet book, which was just named a Best Book of 2022 by Amazon and Audible!


The course is designed to help you turn pain into creativity or healing, and to incorporate more joy and beauty into your daily life. The best part? It’s delivered straight to your phone, via text message or WhatsApp. You’ll get audio and written texts from me: my voice in your ear, my words on your screen, every morning for thirty days. Join me for 30 days of exploration, through audio lessons, guided meditations, reflections on art and music: all curated and designed to help you unlock the transformative power of bittersweetness.

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