It’s only when you’ve started reading Pete Mosley’s The Art of Shouting Quietly. A Guide to Self-Promotion for Introverts and other Quiet Souls that you begin to appreciate fully the point of the book’s subtitle. ‘Self-promotion’ is typically what people with loud voices and larger-than-life personalities are thought to ‘do’. Pete takes us into a different world – the world of the ‘Quiet Soul’.
The Quiet Soul may avoid self-promotion like the plague, and may also appear to be unobtrusive, even unremarkable. Yet such a soul can have much more to offer than meets the eye, with a depth and subtlety which is drowned out in a world that values noise above substance. Recognising this, Pete has quietly challenged many (often in the arts and crafts) to find the inner confidence to believe in the value they can bring to society by pursuing their dreams, and by turning those dreams into successful businesses.
Pete Mosley has been a coach for many years and run his own freelance business since 1984. He gives presentations and workshops for corporate clients, universities, and creative or cultural organisations on confidence, self-promotion and the business of creativity. The Art of Shouting Quietly (published 2015) is the distillation of his approach. In his mild way he weaves wonderful stories which cushion (but do not mask) the difficult questions we all have to answer – if we are to move beyond our self-limiting beliefs and out of our comfort zones to achieve the success we desire, on our own terms.
The Art of Shouting Quietly is beautifully illustrated with Pete’s own delicately whimsical images. It’s a deceptively easy read, the value of which for me is the all-important mental preparation it encourages, the digging deep to identify our own specific motivations, the values which drive us, and our own authentic voices.
The key ingredient in all this is confidence – confidence in ourselves, our ideas and our right to be taken seriously. Pete aims to help all Quiet Souls build a firm foundation of confidence, and takes us on a journey to:
- Systematically reinforce our belief in ourselves
- Understand our place in the world, and what we were “put on the planet to do”
- Know what drives us forward and what holds us back – and how to keep these in balance
- Be true to ourselves and our values
- Know that we have the power and freedom to shape our own sense of what is (and is not) possible
- Have a strong sense of plan and purpose
- Know that asking for help is not an admission of failure
- Develop the skill of asking for help in a structured way, and understand that this is not a sign of weakness
- Know how to be present and share our gifts in a way that sits comfortably with our values and mindset
To me, the book has three key strengths:
1. A window on the world of the ‘Quiet Soul’ It’s very difficult to see and feel things from someone else’s point of view, but as coaches we are duty-bound to try to do so. The Art of Shouting Quietly is therefore a great read for any coaches out there who are extraverts (or otherwise unlike Pete Mosley’s ‘Quiet Souls’), and therefore unable easily to perceive the world through the eyes of a Quiet individual. I’m sure Pete wouldn’t claim the book provides the last word on the ‘introvert experience’ (everyone’s different, after all). But it does have a distinct value in presenting the realities of certain psychological and emotional barriers some coachees face, in a language that’s easily accessible to those who may never experience those barriers themselves. Useful practical tools are provided which can help move those coachees forward – another distinct plus.
2. ‘Points to Ponder’ Pete has a gift for presenting simple tasks (or Action Points) in a simple way. That’s great. But as a coach, I value the addition of simple but profound ‘Points to Ponder’. Too often so-called ‘self-help books’ tub thump about action without sufficiently preparing the ground psychologically. Pondering is, of course, subtle and (yes!) Quiet in its nature. It’s therefore useful for Pete to emphasise the importance of giving due time and attention to ‘Points to Ponder’ as a necessary prelude to the active work that will naturally follow.
3. ‘Success’ should be defined by the individual ‘Success’ can mean anything to anybody – but it’s too often defined by ‘others’ or ‘society’. Many Quiet (and not-so-quiet) Souls are plagued by self-doubt, which undermines their belief in their own right to define what ‘success’ means to them. This matters. As Pete points out, an individual’s values generate the energy fuelling the determination to work consistently towards meeting goals. And the choice of goals dictates whether work is consistently put in, depending on whether they are in alignment with the individual’s values. A person’s vision of what ‘success’ looks like is therefore crucial. It determines the nature of the goals he or she sets, whether those goals are in alignment with his or her values, and ultimately whether the necessary energy is generated to push through to achieve the goals. Where values and goals are at odds, any individual will grind to a halt… Pete does all Quiet Souls the service of insisting they have the right to define what ‘success’ means to them. But the strength of his insistence is in the sensitivity and quietness with which it is put. Shouting loudly (or even quietly) can sometimes be less motivational than a considerate quiet word.
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