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on March 24, 2002
I bought this book instead of the Goleman book because all the reviewers indicated that the Goleman book was lacking in practical advice as to how to apply the theory to achieve results in your life.
Unfortunately, I found 7 Steps to Emotional Intelligence even less useful due to the extremely technical, academic presentation style and the focus on Neuro Linguistic Programming. I didn't realize I was buying an NLP book...I thought this would be primarily a book about emotional intelligence.
Being an engineer, academic or technical presentation styles are usually not a problem for me, but I just found that I didn't want to spend 90% of my time comprehending NLP and only 10% learning about emotional intelligence.
If you are already very familiar with NLP, this book may be what you are looking for. If not, you may be disappointed, as I was.
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on July 6, 2001
Which emotional intelligence book you buy, depends on your needs: Some books merely discuss WHY EQ is important (as Goleman did in 1996) Other books show WHAT is important (for instance Goleman's 2nd book on this subject: "Emotional Intelligence at Work" in 1998) Some books give you TESTS (see Executive EQ with Cooper & Sawaf) Some books are simple , but too basic (give you just some TRICKS)and others are too theoretic (like Bar-on 2000).
All of that is interesting, BUT leaves you wondering, HOW do I really develop my emotional intelligence?
That's why this book is so great: not only does it give a good theoretical introduction, but you learn HOW we live our emotional lives (mostly based on techniques from cognitive science field, and its applications, such as NLP) AND you learn how to use this techniques + you get exercises to start working on it.
Recommended if you want to get a good mix of a intelligent and emotional explanation.
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on May 29, 2002
As a consultant and trainer in Organisational in Emotional Intelligence and an NLP Practitioner I applaud the work of Patrick Merlevede, Bridoux and Vandamme. 7 Steps to Emotional Intelligence has offered me an unparalleled resource in my consulting, training and tools for EQ and Exec. Coaching.
I have read a number of books of late on the burgeoning topic of Emotional Intelligence, which include: The emotionally intelligent workplace (Cherniss and Goleman), Emotional Intelligence at Work (Goleman), Executive EQ (Cooper and Sawaf). In my opinion, these books successfully answer the 2 basic questions- Why EQ and What is EQ? What has not been successfully addressed till now is How-EQ?
After presenting compelling evidence to change, anecdotes that inspire, highly developed and statistically reliable measurements, one is then `left hanging' with no concrete methods of effecting this change. Goleman (Emotional Intelligence at Work) offers no `answers' his later text with Cary Cherniss discusses the `what of EI training' but not how this can be achieved. Developers of the EQ Map, Dr Cooper and Esther Orioli (Q Metrics) have engineered a 21day program to build EQ, one competency at a time (frustratingly slow process that uses the conscious mind and determination to bring about change). I do not doubt the merits of such a program but I find it interesting that we insist on the latest in software and computer technology but are still using outdated systems to utilising the brilliance of the human machine in creating change.
Most recent thinking acknowledges that all human behaviour, learning and change occur at the unconscious level. That is, at the level of the programs we are running, the coding behind the behaviour. To be lasting and effective, change must occur at this level. My own experience of many years counselling and coaching has verified this dictum.
I believe that NLP `the study of excellence' has always had the `answers'. The difficulty has arisen in the somewhat theoretical, academic (and to many) abstract `packaging' of its tools and methodology, which has made it inaccessible to the `many'.
Merlevede has achieved what I have not found in any other single text on EQ or NLP. He presents NLP through the filters of real life experience and personal wisdom to bring the power of these processes to a much wider audience. The authors have provided an easy to follow, concrete and complete program on: Why EQ, What (is) EQ, How EQ and What if EQ (in what other environments can I utilise these skills). At last- the total package-that works!
The book is filled with the powerful tools of NLP laced with practical examples and metaphors that inspire. It acts as reference text for consultants, trainers, coaches, NLP practitioners, leaders, executives and individuals who simply want to be their best and begin to utilise more of their vast and untapped potential.
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on August 24, 2005
Firstly, let's be very clear that this is NOT a book about Emotional Intelligence. It is a book about the authors' ideas on about NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and how to apply NLP techniques. Whether it is about applying NLP to the subject of Emotional Intelligence depends on what definition of "emotional intelligence" is being used.

I have been told by one of the authors that "the book contains at least 25% typical emotional intelligence material"

Is it really adequate to have "at least 25% typical emotional intelligence material" in a book called "7 Steps to Emotional Intelligence"?

And what, in this context, is meant by "typical"?

In my opinion it certainly is NOT, for example, "typical" EI in the sense that Daniel Goleman or Salovey and Mayer use the term. Indeed, I'd be surprised if there was as much as 6 pages of material in the entire book that corresponds to any generally accepted definition of "emotional intelligence".

As far as I could see, it looked as though the definition of EI used here was made up for the occasion, partly on the basis of a book by Leslie Cameron-Bandler and Michael Lebeau called "The Emotional Hostage". Indeed, "7 Steps" takes Goleman to task for not having read "The Emotional Hostage" and claims that if he had read it then he "might have been [sic] reached very different conclusions" (on page 355). Yet strangely enough, though "The Emotional Hostage" is praised effusively, "7 Steps" also fails to reflect the key ideas in that book.

To be fair, these points might have been pardonable, to some extent, if the book actually added very much to our understanding of NLP, or at least showed us how to use NLP effectively in relation to our emotions. But in my opinion it does nothing of the kind. Of course that isn't so surprising since NLP itself has has always been much more interested in dealing with thoughts rather than with emotions. It is a significant gap in NLP's coverage of human psychology, and it's a great pity this book doesn't do anything at all, as far as I could see, to rectify the situation.

So, if you want a book on Emotional Intelligence, you'll be better off sticking with Goleman and other "mainstream" EI writers.

If you want an introduction to NLP then "Introducing NLP" by O'Connor and Seymour, or "NLP Workbook" by O'Connor are both far better options than this.
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While the idea of "emotional intelligence" began with Daniel Goleman's best-selling book, Emotional Intelligence, it did not stop there. Now NLP trainer Patrick Merlevede along with two other NLP Trainers, Denis Bridoux and Rudy Vandamme, have taken the idea much further and made it much more accessible. In doing so, they have expanded the concept of emotional intelligence with the models of NLP and Neuro-Semantics. In their new book, 7 Steps to Emotional Intelligence (2000) these NLP trainers have provided a practical step by step process for actually developing emotional intelligence. For Goleman, this meant
Knowledge of your own emotions Regulating your emotions Being able to motivate yourself (self-motivation) Recognizing the emotions of others Getting along well with others The co-authors, Merlevede, Bridoux, and Vandamme have added more to expand and make more specific what we mean by emotional intelligence.
Listening to your emotions for their message value Asking the right questions & using multiple perceptions Creatively working out appropriate solutions Aligning responses with higher meta-levels of identity, mission, etc. Managing emotions to achieve goals Using abilities cross-contextually Modeling excellence in others Resolving conflicts Living congruently in harmony with self and others Until I read this work, I had forgotten or never related the fact that it was the same Dr. Daniel Goleman who was the first person to write about NLP in Psychology Today. It was he who wrote, "People Who Read People" (July, 1979) and first introduced the NLP model. And yet as Patrick points out, he developed his emotional intelligence model without any reference to NLP. In this, the co-authors have provided a great contribution by relating the NLP model and documenting other NLP books that have also spoken to this subject.
NLP and Emotional Intelligence
What does NLP and Neuro-Semantics has to contribute to developing emotional intelligence? A great deal! In fact, reading 7 Steps almost seems like the NLP Practitioner course. And why not? To understand "emotions" we have to understand mind-body states or as we speak of them, neuro-linguistic states. This means understanding internal processing of information since we create our emotional states by the way we use our mind-and-body=BE our internal representations and our physiology. And that means learning the structure of stepping into and out of states (association / dissociation) and that brings up the subject of both Meta-Programs and "submodalities." It means discovering the power of anchors and the process of anchoring states (linking them to internal and external triggers or cues), and learning to manage them through accessing, interrupting, and enhancing. It means awareness of state as states=BE a meta-state.
Accordingly, the authors have sections on tracking the flow of consciousness as it creates states (the TOTE model that leads to Strategies). They speak about beliefs as meta-level structures that govern our emotions. They describe the Strategy for Happiness and emotional development. They delve into the very structure of emotional states as they describe the representational processes, submodalities, and our perceptual filters (Meta-Programs).
As tools for expanding our intelligence in this area, they introduce Perceptual Positions, Neuro-Logical Levels, State Management, Meta- Modeling (asking the right questions for accessing resources and solving problems), Calibrating, Rapport Building, Emotional Wisdom, and much more.
Systemic and Holistic
I personally appreciated and enjoyed the holistic attitude that pervades the work. In this work you will find no dichotomizing that sets up a straw man of "mind" or "emotions," "intelligence" or "heart." They fully use the NLP frame that our emotions occur within a holistic system, a mind-body system and so they speak about both emotional intelligence (following Goldman) and intelligent emotionality and suggest that together a new synergistic reality emerges, emotional wisdom (p. 358). This means both 1) acknowledge the emotional component of your decision making and 2) making your emotions work for you as opposed against you.
Further evidence of this holistic and non-elementalistic approach lies in their application of emotional intelligence throughout the book. They apply it to personal development, relationships, work and career, conflict resolution, health, etc.
Meta-States as Higher Level Emotions
I was impressed with the many ways that the co-authors show that they are staying current with the field of NLP. In places too numerous to mention here, they offer in both the text and the footnotes comments that indicate that they are not just repeating the basics of classic NLP. They especially integrate several things from Neuro-Semantics into their model, recognizing that we not only have primary emotional states but also higher level emotions, meta-emotions or meta-feelings. They present the Meta-States format of "emotions" as the relationship between Model of the World and Experience of the World (pp. 146-147).
In this they introduce the role of "meaning" for emotional formation, development, and understanding. You will find in the work that they have identified several specific cultural beliefs about emotions that tend to undermine self-management. For example, believing that emotions are "real" externally and must be listened to and obeyed. "If I feel it, it must be so." In this they highlight the role of human interpretation. In a section on "The Meaning of Emotions" they write,
"The emotionally intelligent person that you are can and will be willing to constantly question your own interpretations. If you easily allow yourself to think 'This person is unreliable' you can ask yourself the following inductive question: 'On what observations or feelings did I base this conclusion?' And when you think: 'I will not ask this person, they will refuse anyhow,' you can ask yourself, 'How do I know that this person will refuse?'" (p. 90)
Unafraid to ask the "why" question, the authors provide guidelines for discovering the meaning of emotions: acknowledge that there's both a rational and emotional component in all we do, establish rapport with self, explore the components of your state, ask internal questions, discover reasons for feelings, etc. (pp. 89-91).
Buy the Book!
Michael Hall is the author on several books on NLP & Meta-states
This review originally appeared in the Neuro-Semantics Newsletter
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on May 1, 2001
A lot has been written on Emotional Intelligence since Goleman made it popular. This book is innovative in its approach to combine EQ with the advances in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It has succeeded in bringing together our cognitive skills with our emotional riches. Excellence is found whenever people succeed in balancing the two.
As a trainer/coach I intend to use the insights in this book in my daily work. It offers a good mix of theoretical insights with practical hands-on exercises. The authors succeeded in structuring a large body of knowledge into 'seven lessons'. This adds greatly to the understanding of the material. It also helps to use it later as a reference book.
I also enjoyed the well-documented reading list. It is a great way to explore the domain beyond this book. In the appendices you get an overview of NLP and of the use of EQ tools in Human Resource Management.
It is my feeling that the insights of this book can help you to become excellent both in your professional as private life. I hope the insights of this book may enrich your life as it did mine.
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on May 8, 2001
I'm been involved in NLP since 1986. When I first read about E.I., I thought "NLP is the answer to the E.I. hypothesis". The first books about E.I. (Goleman and others) told about "what is" E.I. but any of these told us about "what to do".
This book is the answer, the missing piece that people was looking for.
This book is a very complete treatise about NLP, with very interesting comments and explanations about what is E.I. and, I think, the most important, the answers: How you can improve your E.I. using NLP.
I'd liked the references to Peter Senge and other work or management related comments.
As far as I remember, it is the first NLP book that includes the Bateson's levels of learning.
And, very important, this book includes a lot of exercises that you usually don't found in other books.
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on August 23, 2001
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has two components: a) Intrapersonal Intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage one's own emotions, and b) Interpersonal or Social Intelligence is the ability to recognize emotions in others and use that information as a guide for behavior, and for building and maintaining relationships.
This book combines the principles of Emotional Intelligence and Neuro-Linguistic Programming to promote an understanding of how emotions work and how we can manage them effectively for optimum living. 7 Steps to Emotional Intelligence is a structured guide; a workbook packed with individual exercises and self-assessments---an intensive course in EQ excellence that addresses emotional conflict, motivation, beliefs, goal-setting, communication, wisdom, creativity and personal success.
I found this book engaging, clear, and easy to understand. Is it wrong to think that we could choose our emotions, instead of being at their mercy? Does getting control over run-away emotions make us any less authentic? As far as I know, the human dilemma has never been too much happiness, peace, contentment, or satisfaction. Rather, the problem has always been how to cope with and overcome the painful emotions that make us wish we could crawl out of our own skins, or slaughter one another. After eons of biological evolution, and decades of astonishing technological advancement, are our emotions much more developed than those of our ancient ancestors? Perhaps Emotional Intelligence is something we could use more of, as individuals, and as a species.
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on May 14, 2008
This book is context specific to NLP learner and users. The learning format is very procedual and needs a whole lot of discipline to practice. Not a typical Emotional Intelligence application. You might find it helpful if you are intersted in the Nurological/Linguistic aspect of the mind.
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on September 22, 2003
I am a consultant, coach, and trainer since 1983. I work across Canada, the U.S., and France on a variety of services including Culture by Design - helping companies determine their culture and adapting it to the internal and external environment - Performance Management Process, Process Improvement, and Executive Excellence (coaching). I constantly use the concepts and techniques proposed in this book. I know they work - from needs analysis, to proposal writing, closing, and delivery.
I found this book to be the clearest and most practical one on EQ. Some books are determined to tell you WHY and WHAT, but many authors aim to self-promote themselves so that you have to buy the HOW through their services. Not so with this book. This is no rehash or repackaging of NLP and EQ. The exercises proposed and the examples given are practical. Lots of meat with no fat. Just go ahead and use it. You prefer more? Try their web site addresses and see how you can enhance your professional practice. I did. I found the most friendly and fastest service than I have ever seen. You want to confirm your answers to those exercises? Write them, they will send them to you. Fast, efficient, friendly. Reflects the tone of the book. Get this book, study it, and apply it. It works!
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