What are the best books on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)?

People who want to find out more about NLP often start with a book, so they ask me for recommendations. This is actually really important to get right because many of the NLP books out there are dreadful, perpetuating myth, dogma and sloppy thinking patterns.

Before I recommend any NLP books, let’s get this out of the way.

Myths and mystification

The field of NLP has become diluted with a lot of other concepts, (like Emotional Intelligence, Enneagram, The Secret and more) many of which are now imagined to be part of NLP. Most modern books include some of these unrelated pieces.

Many of the newer NLP books are written by non-NLPers, or are based on ‘received wisdom’ rather than critical thinking. Errors and misunderstandings creep in and are copied into the next generation of books. Information degrades with each step away from the original meaning.

I spent a lot of time teaching NLP and I kick-tested each piece before I would teach it. Many things work well. Others work if you can figure them out. A few pieces of NLP don’t work well at all. The newer books tend not to reflect these distinctions.

My advice:

With NLP books, it’s best to go for the older ones.

These people were there when NLP was being drawn together as a field. They know how it was figured out, so any knowledge presented there is sound and based on solid evidence. Bandler and Grinder’s books are good for this reason, but don’t really present the material in a ‘how to’ format.

I’d recommend ‘Introducing NLP Neuro-Linguistic Programming’, by O’Connor and Seymour or ‘NLP: The New Technology of Achievement’ by Faulkner and Andreas. They’ll get you started in the best way possible.

Beyond the books

Some of the tools and techniques are best learned by seeing them done. Don’t try to learn the techniques from youtube though – many of the ‘demonstrations’ I’ve seen on there are simply awful. I’d advise a good training by someone who a friend or colleague recommends.

What are the best books on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)? by
%d bloggers like this: