NLP for Dummies - why the hate?


Generally I have written reviews of books that I feel add value to the huge library of NLP books. In this case I have reviewed NLP for Dummies because many people seem attracted to it. Unfortunately I do not believe this is warranted.

Years ago I read Joseph O'Connor's Introducing NLP. At the time there were few NLP books around and this was a good (if somewhat dry) overview. To my mind NLP for Dummies is the new version.

Now this isn't a bad book, it's just not a very focused book. NLP is a wide subject and covering the entire subject within one volume doesn't really work.

Are you learning NLP because you want to become an NLP therapist? Do you want to change yourself? Do you want to learn how to use language patterns in sales? Do you want to wind up your friends with the Meta-Model?

Because all these subjects are covered (if somewhat lightly) in NLP for Dummies.

I guess this lack of focus is one of the many problems with NLP today.

People taking NLP practitioner courses to fix themselves ending up with a certificate suggesting they can help others; NLP Practitioners scared of hypnosis learning interventions by rote; NLP Trainers reinventing NLP every week along with a new buzzword filled course title.

It all dilutes the subject meaning its difficult to spot the gems (techniques and trainers) within the mediocre. There are more books on NLP by people I have never heard of than books by people I know of and trust.

Perhaps I just need to accept it - its too late, the horse has bolted. Anyone with a word processor and a few hours can be a published NLP authority now.

Perhaps it would be fair to say that NLP for dummies is for people who want to learn ABOUT NLP rather than people who want to learn NLP.

All in all, if you want a good general introduction to the wide subject of NLP, then this isn't a bad place to start. If you know some NLP and want to learn about more specific areas then there are better books out there. Many of which are reviewed on this site. I guess if you have read other dummies books then you know what to expect - they are a good book for people who have little knowledge of a subject and tend to want an introduction text rather than one you will refer to time and time again.

As I've said time and time again. If you want to learn NLP from books or training courses then stick to trainers who are well known and well respected in the community. In other words - do your research - or contact PlanetNLP if you're not sure about a specific trainer or author and I'll give you as unbiased a view as I can.