Surrounded by Idiots Book Summary - Surrounded by Idiots Book explained in key points
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Surrounded by Idiots summary

Thomas Erikson

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

4.3 (965 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

"Surrounded by Idiots" by Thomas Erikson is a guide to understanding the four major personality types and learning how to communicate effectively with them. It provides practical insights and real-life examples to help improve relationships and reduce misunderstandings.

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    Surrounded by Idiots
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    Knowing the four personality types can help you deliver your message; the first two are Red and Yellow.

    If you were to give a sales presentation to an audience of two people, you might assume that those two people would take away the same message. But here’s the catch: Whenever you say something, your message will be filtered through the listener’s experiences, biases and attitudes. So it’s quite common for your message to be received in a different way than you intended.

    The good news is, you can always change how you deliver your message in order to suit the listener better. And you can become skilled at doing this by understanding how listeners’ attitudes contribute to their personality types. In other words, once you know how to spot a person’s personality type, you’ll have a good idea of the kind of filters to expect and how to adjust your delivery in order for your message to be received effectively. 

    Essentially, there are four personality types, which were recognized as far back as the fifth century BC by the Greek physician Hippocrates.

    The first personality is known as the Red personality, and it’s the type Hippocrates referred to as choleric. This type of person is characterized by ambition, dominance, decisiveness, competitiveness and an often hot temper. 

    Reds have no problem speaking their mind and often revolt against the traditional way of doing things. Famous Reds include Steve Jobs, Barack Obama and Margaret Thatcher.

    Next is the Yellow personality type, which Hippocrates called sanguine, a word that means optimistic, cheerful and confident – all of which describe Yellows to a T. When others are despairing, Yellows will continue to see the possibilities and find ways to enjoy themselves. 

    You can also spot Yellows by their gift for gab, as they can talk a mile a minute and are known to provide answers to unasked questions. Some might find the chattiness of Yellows annoying, but since their positivity can be downright contagious, they’re more often seen as entertaining and charming.

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    What is Surrounded by Idiots about?

    Surrounded by Idiots (2014) offers insight into the four main personality types and provides methods and tips for how to use this insight in order to be more effective in getting your message across to each of them. Different people require different considerations when you’re trying to work alongside them or sell them on an idea. The more you know about each person’s personality type, the more effectively you’ll be able to communicate in your work life and private life.

    Surrounded by Idiots Review

    Surrounded by Idiots explores the fascinating world of human behavior, helping readers understand and interact with different personality types. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • With its practical tools and methods, it equips readers with the skills to effectively communicate and influence individuals with different personalities.
    • This book provides real-life examples and scenarios that readers can easily relate to, making it relatable and applicable in various personal and professional contexts.
    • Through its insightful explanations on behavior patterns and communication styles, the book sheds light on why people act the way they do, making it a captivating and eye-opening read.

    Who should read Surrounded by Idiots?

    • Executives, managers and human resource workers
    • Anyone with an annoying coworker
    • People who’d like to improve their relationships

    About the Author

    Thomas Erikson has over twenty years’ experience in studying and training people in communication and behavioral development. He’s helped thousands of executives and managers become better at their jobs, and his book Surrounded by Idiots (2014) has become one of the most popular non-fiction books in Sweden.

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    Surrounded by Idiots FAQs 

    What is the main message of Surrounded by Idiots?

    The main message of Surrounded by Idiots is that understanding different communication styles is key to better relationships.

    How long does it take to read Surrounded by Idiots?

    The reading time for Surrounded by Idiots varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Surrounded by Idiots a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Surrounded by Idiots is worth reading as it provides valuable insights into human behavior and helps improve communication skills.

    Who is the author of Surrounded by Idiots?

    Thomas Erikson is the author of Surrounded by Idiots.