- Hardcover: 235 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (November 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0380975912
- ISBN-13: 978-0380975914
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,938,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Achieving Emotional Literacy Hardcover – November 1, 1997
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About the Author
Claude Steiner, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Top customer reviews
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Its been said everyone in California-- the land of nuts and berries isn't a fully functioning adult until they've had 7 years therapy.
If you can read this book carefully and really get into it, you'll save a bundle on shrinks and still come away ok.
Great psych tools in there.
Take 1/2 of diced ideas that were hot stuff in the 1960s, and leave them on the back burner for 40 years
Take a teaspoonful of Flower Power, a dose of "new man"-style feminism, a pinch of Eastern mysticism and a dollop of patronising schmaltz. Mix well.
Pour the mixture over the diced ideas, and set the stove for gas mark "tepid enthusiasm".
Pour entire gloppy mess onto a plate.
Drizzle a little pseudo-philosophical waffle for taste and serve as Coq au Vin - or any other classy-sounding title that takes your fancy.
We read, in the "glossary" at the back of this book:
"Emotional Intelligence: essentially the same as Emotional Literacy."
Well, I've read 217 pages about this so-called "emotional literacy", and several books on "Emotional Intelligence", and I still can't see any resemblence.
As far as I can tell, at it's heart, "emotional literacy" - which is presumably described accurately here, since author Claude Steiner claims to have invented the term - amounts to just two ideas:
1. Make war on part of your personality labelled "critical parent", or "pig parent":
"Stand up against your Critical Parent"
"By courageously addressing these feelings ... we engage in an ongoing battle with our Critical Parent"
"Fighting the Critical Parent"
"...we need to understand how to respond when our Critical Parent attacks us"
Is this a very useful or "emotionally literate" state to put ourselves in when there are numorous, far gentler and more effective, techniques for dealing with self-criticism?
I don't think so.
2. Learn to give and receive "strokes" on a day-to-day basis
This makes much more sense - show appropriate appreciation for other people, receive compliments gracefully - and believe them - and generally treat yourself respectfully.
Seems like a good policy. But there is very little in this book that deals with the details of "how" to do this beyond a veritable forest of platitudes.
And in any case, there really is SOOOOOOOO much more to genuine "emotional intelligence" that the comparison of the two concepts as equals is utterly laughable.
I was interested to note that after 170 pages of this flannel, the whole topic of "Emotional Literacy and Children" fitted into 8 pages, and "EQ in the Workplace" took up only 7 pages.
We are told (page 180) that "Introducing Emotional Literacy in the Workplace is a subject worthy of a whole book. I can only give some basic hints here."
If the subject was worth covering, why not cut some of the repetitious pap from the earlier part of the book and spend more time on this subject?
Frankly, given the quality of the text, I'd say that 7 pages was more than adequate.
In short, if you're interested in GENUINE "emotional intelligence" this book will get you nowhere. Just another big time paper waster.
Frankly, it is hard for me to understand how someone could give such a work 1 star. To me that alone would be an indication of someone who likley needed it most. Clearly no one was harmed in the writing of this book. But, everyone gets an opinion and mine is certainly not always right. But here I feel pretty confident few that are really looking for answers will not benefit from reading this.
The world has a lot to learn about the subject in this book. I know I do.
Becoming emotionally literate is a process of
1) Opening the heart
2) Surveying and traversing the emotional landscape
3) Taking responsibility
I love the quoate "Like an explorer discovering an exotic land, I was amazed and captivated by the emotional landscape within and around me"
We learn to question our image of the powerful person as one who commands, is detached and collected. To an image of one who has rich, satisfying relationships and fruitful work. We learn how to avoid cynicism, emptiness and isolation.
Steiner's methodology is Transactional Analysis which "analyzes human relationships by focusing on the precise content of people's interactions" The emphasis is on what goes on between people (social transactions) and learning how to behave differently with others thereby changing your life.
The vocabulary consists of 3 ego states... 1) the Child (emotional, creative part), the Parent (our judgemental, internal bully) and the Adult (our rational, logic part. The methodolgy also describes the stroke economy (positive or negative strokes). Stokes can be "physical or verbal and are defined as the basis unit of human recognition".