An enjoyable and useful entry into the self-help arena.
Kirsty Anne Ferguson is an interview and behavioural coach in the aviation industry. Unlike other self-help gurus, she focusses on teaching people to talk about themselves. As she puts it, we’re all into marketing and when it comes to interviews, we are selling ourselves to potential employers.
She tells the story of an albino chameleon, which is one of the top ten most rare animals in the world. In the story, the chameleon’s greatest weakness – lacking an ability to camouflage itself – turns into its greatest asset. It’s on this basis, that Ferguson then sets out to teach that we all have something to offer and sometimes we just need learn how to see and appreciate our own value.
Interview skills are not just about detailing the work skills you offer, but what you have to offer as a person. Until you can believe in yourself, it’s difficult to make others believe in you. Consequently, most her book focusses on self-reflection and self-appreciation. Some of it has been said before, in countless other self-help books, but Ferguson’s unique perspective keeps the information fresh and sometimes offers a new twist on an established way of thinking.
From page 51, for example, she explains that the “entirety of life is about relationships” whether it’s your relationship your partner, dog, colleague, a customer or a guy in the street. “Most importantly, it’s firstly about your relationship with yourself.” She discusses first impressions, chemistry, mentors, short-term relationships, online dating, honesty and trust.
Later in the book she delves into recognising your auto-responses (“Hi, how are you?” “I’m fine”) and how to begin filtering out those habitual answers and phrases that no longer work for you, along with shutting down the perception filters that have become ingrained in your psyche.
A separate PDF workbook is available for download from Ferguson’s website but it comes across as an afterthought and could easily have been made part of the main book. It simply summarises the self-reflection questions asked in the book and provides space to write your answer. Despite minimal text in the workbook, it needs an edit: the Myers-Briggs web link is incorrect, linking to a .com website for the Myers-Briggs personality test instead of linking to the correct .org site. The design also comes across as less than professional.
With an easy reading style and an encouraging, friendly vibe, The Albino Chameleon is an enjoyable and useful entry into the self-help arena. At less than 200 pages, it’s not a long read but it is chock full of information, ideas and suggestions, aided by a comprehensive table of contents to quickly get back to any salient discussions you want to revisit at a later date.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Distributed by: Amazon Australia
Released: November 2019