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Book review by Quintus Hegie

Data scientist and co-founder of several data-driven start-ups

Analytical thinkers will get a significant and structured boost in their people skill algorithms with Gilbert Eijkelenboom’s new book “People Skills for Analytical Thinkers”. In a practical, but solidly backed by scientific research evidence, 4 step approach, you’ll get to boost the results from your interaction and communication with other, non-analytical, people.

It can be quite frustrating for me to see analytical professionals have a hard time to get their message through to others, who are less analytical minded. Whether that be the result of a vast analytical project assignment, or any other personal point they want to make to another person or a group.

By reading Gilbert’s book “People Skills for Analytical Thinkers”, I hoped to find more guidance on helping my analytical team members (and myself) succeed better in inter personal communication. And to be honest, the book delivers on that promise! I got valuable insights out of the simple behavioral and psychological tweaks found throughout the book. Both for myself, as for the more analytical minded people I work with.

In this one book, composed of 20 chapters, divided over 4 parts and 164 pages, bundled with 26 key principles and 10 exercises for the reader to do, the typical analytical reader of this book learns to work on his/her people skills by using metaphors from the analytical world. I find “People Skills for Analytical Thinkers” most friendly and easy to read, where the general tone of voice is optimistic, cheerful, helpful and fun, but also very professional.

The writing style of Gilbert Eijkelenboom is one that is well structured, thought/planned out and the different aspects of people skills are well documented with references to solid and recognized breakthrough research on the topic. The color illustrations seem to symbolically depict the analytical person in blue and the other (emotional) person in orange.

I find it quite entertaining to discover about concepts such as ‘emotional elephants’, ‘superhero algorithms’, ‘nice guy’-fallacies, and the need-belief-behavior ‘iceberg’. You’ll learn to say no by becoming aware about yourself and your own ingredients for happiness. You’ll find ways read other people’s ‘communication manual’ in a structured way, thereby getting more skilled at interacting with other types of persons. You’ll find empowering win-win ways to navigate through the communication jungle that comes with working together with others.

Also, don’t be surprised that you will add meditation to your daily rituals, after you have read “People Skills for Analytical Thinkers”. This is a great example of how rational minded people will discover about a whole new additional ‘success ingredient’ to your career and life. You will get better in touch with your mind, your feelings and emotions. This new ‘healthy food’ for your rational mind will then enable you to speak out better from your whole mind: that is,  both from an analytical as well as from an emotional perspective.

If this statement now sounds a big vague to you, then that is a great sign that you should really pick up and read Gilbert’s book!

On a critical note, there is one statement I found in the book, that I cannot relate to myself at all. Gilbert writes about how our fears of being expelled from a group and not being liked are outdated fears, left-overs in our mind and body from the ancient past that is no longer applicable and useful today. For me that statement would typically be something to ‘walk to the other side of the table with’ (chapter 18) with Gilbert.

From my personal perspective, being part of a group and being liked and respected, seem still valuable and useful assets in career and life. Maybe in today’s professional work environment you won’t be ‘slain’ or ‘starved’ to death, when your peer group (colleagues) would rather want to exclude you from the team. There are plenty of other places for you to find a work and private life environment with empowering and respectful peers. But a whole reason this book exists could be, that up to now, you have not been able to fully embrace the social/emotional part of the group you’re currently in as an analytical thinker.

So fear not, I would say, if you are an analytical or rational type of person, and you are looking for a way to succeed more (or fail less) in working with other people. While being more happy with and confident about yourself. Just pick up Gilbert Eijkelenboom’s book “People Skills for Analytical Thinkers”, get your personal insights into your behavioral algorithms, upgrade your ‘world perception’ database, and optimally steer your personal communication output in the right direction for your life and career goals. This may be the most rational thing for you to do right now.

About the reviewer

Quintus C. Hegie, MSc (37) works as a professional data analyst and scientist for large enterprises. Also he has co-founded several successful data-driven startups, where advanced analytics and analytical thinkers have added incredible value to the company’s growth. He reviews books that help you excel in business and analytics, whether that be from a technical or psychological standpoint.

‘The biggest mistake you can make is that your rational view on the world is the only true fact there is.’

Quintus C. Hegie, MSc, Qoppa Holding B.V.,

www.quintushegie.com

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