Do you ever think you're the only one making any sense? Or tried to reason with your partner with disastrous results? Do long, rambling answers drive you crazy? Or does your colleague's abrasive manner get your back up?
You are not alone. After a disastrous meeting with a highly successful entrepreneur, who was genuinely convinced he was 'surrounded by idiots', communication expert and bestselling author, Thomas Erikson dedicated himself to understanding how people function and why we often struggle to connect with certain types of people.
Originally published in Swedish in 2014 as Omgiven Av Idioter, Erikson's Surrounded by Idiots is already an international phenomenon, selling over 1.5 million copies worldwide, of which over 750,000 copies have been sold in Sweden alone. It offers a simple, yet ground-breaking method for assessing the personalities of people we communicate with - in and out of the office - based on four personality types (Red, Blue, Green and Yellow), and provides insights into how we can adjust the way(s) we speak and share information.
Erikson will help you understand yourself better, hone communication and social skills, handle conflict with confidence, improve dynamics with your boss and team, and get the best out of the people you deal with and manage. He also shares simple tricks on body language, improving written communication and advice on when to back away or when to push on, and when to speak up or indeed shut up. Packed with 'aha!' and 'oh no!' moments, Surrounded by Idiots will help you understand and influence those around you, even people you currently think are beyond all comprehension.
And with a bit of luck you can also be confident that the idiot out there isn't you!
A basic but useful guide to communicating with the uncommunicable arrives from executive trainer Erikson. He begins with a story of interviewing a self-made entrepreneur who declared himself "surrounded by idiots" at his company. Though Erikson's follow-up question "Who hired all these idiots?" saw him thrown out of the office, he credits the experience with sparking his interest in why people do or don't work well together, and in the tendency to view those one consistently disagrees with or misunderstands as "idiots." To help readers put the kibosh on judgment and strive more to understand others, he lays out a color-coded personality trait matrix Red (dominant), Blue (analytical) Yellow (inspiring), and Green (stable) then explains how to adapt and tailor one's written communications and in-person behavior for the best collaborative results with other personality types. Though a simplified model, it provides a helpful way of framing intent vs. impact. Marred only by an ill-judged decision to use only masculine pronouns when referring to hypothetical situations, this book already a bestseller in Sweden is clearly, dynamically presented and easy to grasp.
Having the complexity of everyday people being explained to laymen’s is a difficult thing, reading this book really does narrow the basic instincts of an individual in work and also in everyday life.