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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Surrounded by Idiots

Surrounded by Idiots

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

Thomas Erikson

St. Martin's Essentials

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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 rub you the wrong way?

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.

Surrounded by Idiots is an international phenomenon, selling over 1.5 million copies worldwide. 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 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, advice on when to back away or when to push on, and when to speak up or shut up. Packed with ‘aha!’ and ‘oh no!’ moments, Surrounded by Idiots will help you understand and communicate with those around you, even people you currently think are beyond all comprehen… More…

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 rub you the wrong way?

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.

Surrounded by Idiots is an international phenomenon, selling over 1.5 million copies worldwide. 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 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, advice on when to back away or when to push on, and when to speak up or shut up. Packed with ‘aha!’ and ‘oh no!’ moments, Surrounded by Idiots will help you understand and communicate with 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!

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Communication Happens on the Listener’s Terms



Does that sound strange? Let me explain. Everything you say to a person is filtered through his frames of reference, biases, and preconceived ideas. What remains is ultimately...

Praise for Surrounded by Idiots

"A useful guide to communicating with the uncommunicable ... clearly, dynamically presented and easy to grasp."—Publisher's Weekly

"Readers will be delighted. Most everyone can benefit from this book, especially those in the workplace. In addition, parents, educators, and students will find these insights valuable."—Booklist, Starred Review

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Reviews from Goodreads

Thomas Erikson

Thomas Erikson is an expert on communication. He works with developing organizations from a leadership perspective. In the past eighteen years he has trained more than five thousand executives to be better and more efficient leaders. Thomas has written several popular science books on communication and human behavior. Surrounded by Idiots is one of Sweden’s best-selling non-fiction books with over 450,000 copies sold in Sweden alone. The book is sold in 21 other languages around the world.

image of Thomas Eriksono
Maria Östlin