Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life)

Thomas Erikson, trans. from the Swedish by Martin Pender and Rod Bradbury. St. Martin’s Essentials, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-17994-4
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. Agent: Maria Enberg, Enberg Literary. (July)
Reviewed on : 04/12/2019
Release date: 07/30/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-250-17993-7
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