Shy by Design: 12 Timeless Principles to Quietly Stand Out

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$22.95  $21.34
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
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About the Author

Michael Thompson is a career coach, a leadership lecturer for master's students in Barcelona, Spain, and a strategic communication advisor to top business leaders around the globe. His work has appeared in dozens of mainstream publications including Fast Company, Insider, INC, Apple News, and the Blog of Steven Pressfield. When he's not working with students and clients to scale their impact on their own terms, he can be found exploring the Mediterranean with his wife and two young boys in his adopted home of Palamós, Spain.


In a world that lionizes loudness, it's actually the quiet and shy among us who are best set up to thrive. Michael Thompson provides an important new way of understanding what it really takes to stand out!

--Cal Newport, New York Times bestselling author of Digital Minimalism and Deep Work

In Shy by Design, author Michael Thompson offers up simple, yet elegant strategies to deploy for overthinking. For those of us who grapple with this malady daily, this book is a gift, a huge relief, and an easier way to be more wonderfully human.

--Denise Young Smith, former Apple VP of HR & Talent, author of When We Are Seen

An inspiring call-to-action for "quiet types," this book is a must-read for anyone who's ever felt overshadowed in our loud world. Thompson shows how thoughtfulness can be a competitive advantage and offers insight on turning supposed weaknesses into potent strengths. For anyone looking to harness their shy nature as a source of personal and professional power, this book is a game changer.

--Melody Wilding, LMSW, executive coach and bestselling author of Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work

Shy by Design is a vital book for ALL professionals looking to summon their inner confidence and courage to live a life and career on their terms, while elevating the people around them. Vulnerable, raw, and candid, Michael delivers a powerful conversation on how to overcome fear, let your best self shine, and help others find their own, unique voice. As Michael writes, "meaningful careers are forged by providing meaningful moments for others." Michael teaches you this essential, emotionally intelligent skill set, as well as the nuances of masterful communication skills for advancing yourself forward toward the life and career you've dreamed of.

--Christopher D. Connors, bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence for the Modern Day Leader and The Champion Leader

Michael's a master at profound simplicity. He lays down his words with such grace and economy that while reading Shy by Design, I found myself frequently pausing because he expressed a human truth that hit something deep inside me. This is one of those precious books that deserves a coveted place on your nightstand to guide you throughout your life and career.

--Kevin Kelley, co-founder of Shook Kelley and author of Irreplaceable

In Shy by Design, Michael Thompson provides a transformative guide for introverts. Thompson's wisdom on building meaningful connections and amplifying personal impact is game-changing. A must-read for those who feel their quiet nature is a disadvantage.

--Darius Foroux, author of eight books, including Do It Today and The Stoic Path to Wealth

Engaging and Actionable. Thompson's journey is very inspiring and the lessons he's learned about owning our story and building the right relationships are things we can all implement. If you're looking to live with more authenticity and purpose, read Shy by Design.

--Kim Dabbs, Global VP of ESG + Social Innovation at Steelcase and bestselling author of You Belong Here

In a world that incentivizes and exploits our loudness, Shy by Design is an important call for us to cultivate our quirks, own our story, and value our unique voice.

--Julio Vincent Gambuto, filmmaker and author of Please Unsubscribe, Thanks!

Uplifting and highly actionable, "Shy by Design" shows us that we don't need to be the loudest person in the room to influence others in meaningful ways.

--Michelle Woo, award-winning journalist and former senior editor at Medium

Among the myriad tales of individuals overcoming personal struggles, none provide the refreshing clarity and unconventional actionable steps found in this narrative. Within a few hours of reading Shy by Design, I took Thompson's unique insights to connect authentically, which not only led to personal growth but also a positive impact on others.

--Benjamin Sledge, combat-wounded veteran and award-winning author of Where Cowards Go to Die

Shy by Design cuts through the noise in our increasingly loud world and provides an action-driven roadmap to living life on our own terms. Thompson's story will stay with you for years to come while serving as a source of inspiration to summon the courage to bet on yourself.

--Brian Pennie, PhD, award-winning author of Bonus Time, recovering heroin addict turned neuroscientist and motivational speaker

Readers can embrace their quiet side to live happier and more fulfilled lives, according to this savvy debut guide from career coach Thompson. Plagued since childhood by a stutter and debilitating social anxiety, the author pursued a career in sales to challenge those fears and rose through the ranks once he reframed his "perceived" weaknesses as strengths. Sharing lessons gleaned along the way, Thompson recommends that readers stop faking "bullet-proof confidence" and instead approach others with kindness and honesty; expand personal and professional networks by strengthening ties with acquaintances and colleagues; and learn from others' communication styles and strategies. Thompson gears the advice largely toward professional development, with much talk of "optimizing" connections that might eventually yield career opportunities, and he strikes an effective balance between empowering readers to embrace their shyness and encouraging them to venture outside their comfort zones. It's a solid resource for young professionals looking to break out of their shells.

-- "Publishers Weekly"