Book review – The Three Companions by Joan van den Brink

4th December by Lee Robertson

Reading time 2 minutes

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I have the pleasure of working alongside Joan here at the AoEC, so when I heard she had written a book, I just had to read it.

The book’s listing on Amazon sets the scene by asking if there is someone in your life who always seems to know the right thing to say, do and feel and if you wish you could be more like that too?

In The Three Companions Joan invites the reader to explore the close relationship between courage, compassion and wisdom and how they can bond together to enable us to thrive and be the best version of ourselves.

Joan believes that courage, compassion and wisdom are three qualities that work hand in hand to enable us to approach difficult, emotive and sensitive situations in ways that empower the parties involved to have meaningful conversations. She is resolute in saying that these conversations lead to a greater understanding of the situation and bring increased self-insights and eventually lasting change.

Using the Three Companions is portrayed as a skill which can be highly valuable in all aspects of life. From tackling big issues like inclusion, mental health or the environment to handling smaller issues such as day-to-day upsets or difficult conversations, these three qualities can help create the conditions in which people can speak up without recrimination.

Joan’s narrative is warm and engaging as she guides us through personal tales of her own and other everyday people candidly sharing their experiences which have been characterised by of courage, compassion and wisdom.  

This is a curated collection of real-life stories which beautifully articulates how courage, compassion and wisdom have come together to have a profound impact on those everyday situations. They are there to help the reader unlock some of that power and harness it in their own lives. The simplicity of the book is that it is motivating, inspiring and practical because of the relatability of the stories it contains.

As Joan says in the book “The power of the three of them working together in concert allows us to operate from an optimal place where we’re brave enough to start conversations that matter.”

This is an excellent book choice for a variety of readers because it is identifiable and can help you to anchor and centre yourself. Harnessing the power of the Three Companions can be beneficial in a workplace setting, or in your personal life. It can help build resilience and grow your own self-esteem and confidence. It is also a good marker for learning to be more tolerant and patient with others while growing your humility and developing stronger and more rewarding relationships at home and in the office.

I think this book will resonate with employers who want to create the right conditions for their employees where they can thrive. It also offers a valuable read for coaches or consultants who are supporting their clients to flourish and be the best they can be.

This book does a good job of making you stop and reflect on your own experiences. It offers a simple, yet powerful shift in how we can all think about the way we behave and do things so that everyone can lead happier, more fulfilling lives.

The Three Companions by Joan van den Brink is available to buy at Amazon and is also available as an audio book here.