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  • Surrounded by Idiots

  • The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life)
  • Written by: Thomas Erikson
  • Narrated by: David John
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Business & Careers, Personal Success
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (264 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A runaway best seller in Sweden that has sold more than a million copies worldwide, Surrounded by Idiots shares a groundbreaking new method of understanding the people around you that will change how you interact with everyone from your coworkers to your spouse.   

Author 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 - Reds who are dominant and commanding, Yellows who are social and optimistic, Greens who are laid back and friendly, and Blues who are analytical and precise - and explains how to identify and interact with each type of person. Instead of being bogged down with overly technical categorizations, the simple four color system allows you to speedily identify a friend or coworker and adjust how you speak and share with them.   

Surrounded by Idiots is full of practical information for interacting with people based on their color, including the strengths and weaknesses of all the profiles, how to give positive and negative feedback to each, and the best way to word an email when writing to someone with a different profile.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Text copyright by Thomas Erikson; Foreword copyright by David Bonnstetter (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Surrounded by Idiots

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Aha moment for a Red like me

I learned I was 100% red in this book and WHY I feel the way I do about so many of the "Idiots" I'm surrounded by. Really great read and I found myself laughing along at how spot on the characteristics of each colour are - especially my own. Highly recommend this book if you want a better inside look into the thoughts and minds of the people around you and how to better deal with different personality traits in your family, friend group and work place.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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The book is overly simple and contrived

None of the "real world" examples are realistic portrayals of a human's reactions. They're all caricatures and stereotypes of their "colours". The book is overly simplified and not realistic.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

a decent introduction to human dynamics

if you are just starting to learn about human dynamics and the different ways humans function cognitively this would be a great book, but for myself who is someone bordering on obsessing on the subject at times, it was a bit too simplistic and reductive to feel worth listening to a second time. I personally found all four colors to be relatable to myself in a partial sense but never in a sense strong enough to be like "yes thats me". I would say yellow and blue felt more relatable than green and red but in some cases all 4 colors felt equally true to me and how I function. again, if you haven't spent much time on the subject I would say it's a great place to start, but if you are decently familiar with things like jungian psychology/mbti, spiral dynamics, or the enneagram system you may find it falling a bit short on captivating information

3 people found this helpful

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Interesting but predictable

Interesting book, but slightly repetitive. In many ways the author goes to extreme behavior and offers a similar way to deal with all people. Certainly worth reading, but as a red it could've been more concise.

3 people found this helpful

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Unique Way to See the People Around You.

And a unique way to see yourself. Should give you something to think about. Worth a listen.

3 people found this helpful

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Makes you think

when you listen to this. think about you as a person and you weaknesses. you will be amazed how the new knowledge will force you to work with others in a new way, and it will work. if you are honest with your self that is.

2 people found this helpful

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great listen!

great study in human psychology
narrator was top shelf 👌 turns out the biggest idiot is always surrounded by the most idiots 🤣🤣🤣🤣

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Catchy Title; Complicated Content

Narration by David John: 5 stars

Content by Thomas Erikson: 3 stars
While hearing this audiobook, i was continuously thinking about the people around me and trying to divide them in colours. But, it isn't simple at all. Human behaviour doesn't remain consistent then how can the color significance be. We are combination of every colour given and missing. It is a welcoming subject to read , however, do not consider this as a way to measure people, reject or accept and ofcourse treat differently.

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Good from start to finish

it was interesting all the way through. The real life examples made it applications easier.

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Honestly very good

There is a lot here for someone looking for more structure in the area of identifying those around them in order to better manoeuvre a space.

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  • Dave
  • 2020-08-24

Should be titled "why I hate reds"

The author, despite (I swear he said he identified as a red), has to be a green. How do I know that? I tested 96% Red and 4% Green. In the section where he gives positives about reds, he complains about them the whole time. In the sections for the other colors, he continues to complain about reds. At the end of the negative section about reds, he says they are the ones most likely to think they are surrounded by idiots, an admission that the book is actually about his dislike of them.

On the flipside, he was relatively neutral about yellows and blues, although he tended to have a distaste for yellows, who have the same energy level as reds. But most of all, he was INCREDIBLY positive about greens, practically putting them on a pedestal.

In my experience, greens are nothing like what was described in this book. They are not helpful. They're the last to show up to work and the first to leave. They're passive aggressive and lazy. In the negative example of a red telling someone they need to just do their job, it's true! The other person was likely green and was practically complaining about showing up to work. The author would say that's selfish of the employer... no! It's selfish of the employee. As a red, when I go into work, I am being paid to take care of my CUSTOMER'S problems, not my own. For 8+ hours a day, I dedicate myself to OTHERS. Every green simply comes to work with a long list of demands they need to make their life great.

As a red, I'm not surrounded by idiots. I'm rarely bothered by yellows or blues, and appreciate the strengths and balance they bring to a team, But people like the author, greens? I found the idiots.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Schroeder
  • 2020-04-18

The insights of personality profile

I had to disagree greatly on this depiction of personality’s.. and it’s dangerous with Red’s- since most are Narcissistic in nature- which ARE extremely dangerous in people’s lives.... whether friend, significant other, boss, or xo-worker. “Red’s” are malicious in many cases. Human behaviors can be dangerous.... and the author stated otherwise... concepts of Red’s lack empathy and compassion.... dangerous to other humans on so many levels. Picking colors for people’s personalities was too simple.... and not comprehensive enough to explain how to handle or understand them.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Ieshia
  • 2019-10-04

Best Book Ever

This is literally the best book that I have ever read but not read. I actually didn’t believe that I would like Audible. But this made me sold on the system. I absolutely LOVE this book. And I know I loved it because I recommended it not only to family and friends, but even the service rep at ATT while we were sitting on the phone waiting for tech support. Then told her that the entire ATT company she worked at needed to listen to it. It is amazing in helping you to understand self and other people and know how to deal with the two.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Yahia shawkat
  • 2020-01-27

More colors?

I liked the book. While reading it, some people in real life crossed my mind as different colors. My only concern that I can be any of these colors depends on the situation/time/environment. But its really helpful to understand different type of people even if the rule doesn't apply 100% on them.

7 people found this helpful

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  • fishingforstuff
  • 2019-11-26

Amazing!

Even though I have read several books such as the color code and how to Win friends and influence people to understand individual things that someone does has seriously help me understand different people at my work I love this book! You would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to understand people there so shit with

4 people found this helpful

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  • A.A.
  • 2020-06-14

Makes sense

It is what it is. If you're in a supervisory position & need some kind of guidance about behavior & other psychological crap then this book will break it down to whom you're dealing with, and what their deal is. Moral of the story, this book ultimately wants you to convey messages to them in THEIR language, otherwise, you'll always have friction & disagreement amongst each other. People are more willing to comply when you don't necessarily stoop up or down to their level, but you simply talk to them on the same energetic level.

3 people found this helpful

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  • ZMassad
  • 2020-05-16

this could have been a great book

the first half the book was useless redundant repetition. more useful meat in the second half but overall it failed to avoid being another consultant written book that brags about their method without getting into the needed details. further - I only discovered the PDFs by coincidence after finishing the book. there was no active referencing to PDF content that would've made things easier to trace and understand. I don't recall there was a mention of the PDF.

further - another common problem with several audiobooks recording - the audio volume is low. making it harder to listen to this in an outdoor environment or airplane.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • trzzreqlvwkx
  • 2021-03-09

Thought Provoking

A great thought provoking book about human behavior and human communication.
A great book to start with.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2020-12-08

Missing Info

This was a good read with a lot on interesting material in it. I just wish the questions to the quiz were restated with the answers at the end of the book

1 person found this helpful

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  • D. Bentley
  • 2019-10-02

Good book. performance a little off

Great content. the audio had some background noise in the later chapters that made it a little less enjoyable. But I really liked the book.

1 person found this helpful