Do you ever have the feeling no one in the room understands you? Or are you constantly annoyed by what a certain person says? Well, then there is a big chance that Surrounded by Idiots is the book you are looking for.
Surrounded by Idiots is full of practical information for interacting with people based on their behavioral patterns. Thomas Erikson describes 4 different profiles including the strengths and weaknesses, how to give positive and negative feedback to each and much more.
Why Surrounded by Idiots is a must read
The reviews about Surrounded by Idiots vary around the internet. Some say that the book has groundbreaking new insights, others say it’s a model that existed for a long time, just with a new cover. The four types of behavioral patterns Thomas Erikson described are not completely new. At least, for people that work in this field of expertise.
So why is it a must read for people in their twenties? Well, I can imagine that at a young age you were not obsessed with analyzing people. When you had no click with a certain person, not talking to them was the easy way out.
Unfortunately when you go to college or start working in a company you have to work together with certain types of people. That’s why Surrounded by Idiots is a must read for everybody in their twenties. The book gives insights on how you can effectively communicate with each and everyone!
Key Findings from Surrounded by Idiots
The book mainly is about the four different colors and how to community effectively with each. So, the best findings can actually be found in the book. Below are some insights I got out of the book. If you want to exactly know how the four colors work, I advise reading the book!
1. Communication is a two-way street
One of the first things I got out of this book is that communication is a two-way street. Okay, nothing new said here, but think about it for a moment. How often do we communicate by only sending the information we want to send? How often do we actually check if the message is received by the receiver.
This is what I mean by saying that communication is a two-way street. And in this two-way street most of the power lies at the sender of the message. The sender has to make sure the message is received otherwise the communication has failed. So the next time when you are talking to someone, check if they actually understand what you are saying and otherwise adjust the way you communicate.
2. There are 4 types of behavioral patterns
In his book, Thomas Erikson explains that there are four key behavior types that define how we interact with and perceive the people around us. Understanding someone’s pattern of behavior is the key to successful communication. Erikson breaks down the four kinds of behavior types in Red, Yellow, Green and Blue.
The red style stands for people who are dominant and commanding, yellow stands for people who are social and optimistic, greens who are laid back and friendly, and blues who are analytical and precise. Next to this, Thomas Erikson explains how to identify and interact with each type of person. This simple four color system allows you to speedily identify a friend or coworker and adjust how you speak and share with them.
3. Adapting and giving feedback to different behavior types
In a perfect world we can all communicate frictionless with each other. Adapting and giving feedback to different behavior types. For instance, a red person wants to be quick, brief and cut the small talk while a yellow person wants to bond a bit more first. Read more on how to adapt to certain colors here.
A few quotes worth mentioning
Flexibility and the ability to interpret other people’s needs is what characterizes a good communicator.~ Thomas Erikson – Surrounded by Idiots
By adjusting yourself to how other people want to be treated, you become more effective in your communication.~ Thomas Erikson – Surrounded by Idiots
Communication happens on the listener’s terms~ Thomas Erikson – Surrounded by Idiots
But the most important lesson that you can walk away with is that the idiots who surround you are, in fact, not idiots at all. Instead, they are individuals worthy of respect, understanding, and being valued.~ Thomas Erikson – Surrounded by Idiots
It takes a strong mind to move things forward, someone who understands the risks that are part of everyday life and that everything boils down to hard work from morning to night.~ Thomas Erikson – Surrounded by Idiots
About Thomas Erikson
Thomas Erikson is a Swedish behavioral expert and other of the runaway bestseller Surrounded by Idiots. The book was first published in 2014 and by now has sold over 3 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 42 languages. Next to this, Thomas Erikson is an active lecturer for more than 20 years. He speaks at the biggest firms in Europe such as Ikea, Volvo, Microsoft and Coca-Cola.
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