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Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behaviour (or, How to Understand Those Who Cannot Be Understood) Paperback – 30 July 2019
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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.
The international phenomenon Surrounded By Idiots, by bestselling author Thomas Erikson, 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 ways we speak and share information.
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By Ryan LIM on 26 May 2021
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The author posits four different types of people, So you'd think there would be a self-assessment tool of some sort, wouldn't you? No such thing. I suppose you're meant to self-identify, but this isn't helped by a pretty strong overlap between the different types. And of course there's no offering to help you identify the other people you might meet. The author does admit that you may be a mix of more than one type, but this isn't really discussed. And there's nothing at all about how people develop and grow over time, which is important.
The self-assessment is based loosely on the DiSC model, which is highly questionable. However, in the original model the C stands for 'compliance,' but out author has changed this to 'analytical ability.' What?????????? No way, in the dictionary or in personality theory, can you equate 'compliance' with 'analytical ability.' In fact there's a strong case for saying that they're mutually exclusive, because people with strong analytical skills don't usually accept what's on offer in compliant fashion. I had to bang my head several times before I could believe that this is really what he'd written; what's happened to the profession of copy-editor? (A good copy-editor would have killed that title as much too confrontational).
There's some loose analysis of the four different types and advice on getting on with them, but the advice is so general and/or it begs the question - summarised as 'do the right thing and try not to annoy them.' And the book is difficult to read - there's no sense of structure or flow, no sense of guiding curious readers to the next thing they'll be interested in. Why this book found its way into the best-seller lists is an utter puzzle.
The cheeky title sells the book but there is nothing of value inside. Take people as you find them, and treat those you work with well, you don't need a get rich quick book to do this (author getting rich that is).