Thursday, 5 April 2012

Review for The NLP Practitioner Manual

The online Learning & Development magazine, TrainingZone, has reviewed The NLP Practitioner Manual by Peter Freeth and Stepheni Smith in its monthly book club.

What does this book promise?

The books back cover states:

‘This book will you how to adapt and apply NLP in any professional environment’
...enable you to ‘integrate NLP into your world for the very best results, both for yourself and your clients’ you to understand the underlying structure of NLP's techniques’

I believe the book delivers on this promise.

The facts

This book is text book size, with 468 pages. There are 34 chapters, most divided into sub sections. Chapters 1 to 5 frame the book. Chapters 6 to 27 cover the core elements of an NLP practitioner syllabus. There are also chapters that cover the certification criteria and how to build and grow an NLP practice.

What I liked

The book is extremely thorough and covers the Society of NLP’s core syllabus. If you are considering attending a practitioner training programme you would be aware of what would be covered, and why.
I got the impression that the authors made a strong effort to use language that was simple and as clear as possible, so as to avoid ambiguity and over complication. I found the book easy to read and digest. The selection of font type and size also assisted in this. The layout is also reader friendly – the paragraphs are well spaced out and there is plenty of white space. There are also numerous diagrams and other ways are used to break up text.

The fact the book is split into 34 distinct chapters, with a contents page that has both chapter titles and subsections make it easy to see the whole content of the book.

The authors are keen to have an objective viewpoint. They allude to the current NLP training environment and the different approaches to NLP training and its use. The reader is informed of options and this awareness will help make an informed choice.

The book is designed to be interactive. There are

- numerous review questions
- places in the book to note down responses to questions
- 67 exercises

My concerns

There is a disproportionate amount of book space given to the Meta model and Milton model. I recognise that these linguistic models are more suited to being explored in a book than other elements of the NLP practitioner syllabus, say rapport or state, however the amount of space allocated is not reflective of the 20 day practitioner course I attended and the proportions feel unbalanced. For example Rapport is covered in 21 pages; the Meta Model and Milton Model have 66 pages between them.

I noticed some minor typographical errors which was a shame as so much care and attention has been given to communicating as precisely as possible.

Who would get what from this book?

1. People who have previously attended a practitioner course, or other NLP training.
It’s a very useful book to revisit, to get a refresher, a different perspective, a summary, to have explained and reminded of what may have been deleted and distorted. I found especially useful the explanation of the rationale of techniques, the structural elements that impacted.

2. People wanting to know about NLP before selecting a course
The book would give information about
- What NLP is about and how it can be applied
- Different programme options
- Different approaches to NLP and where there is potential for misuse

The book is also useful reading for

3. People considering setting up a business training or coaching in NLP
4. NLP Practitioners who are asked by interested parties to recommend a book on NLP as this book would be a suitable recommendation

To Summarise

This book is a useful read for anyone who is interested in communication in general and NLP in particular.
Its particular strength is its accessibility to people of diverse NLP experience and knowledge.
I am a certified NLP trainer and Master Practitioner and I learnt much from the book and gained useful insights. I would recommend it to fellow trainers and master practitioners. I would also be happy to recommend it to someone with no NLP experience or knowledge
What would I score it?


It’s an excellent book in terms of content and readability. The minus is due to feeling the need to use the proviso, if recommending the book to others, ‘the Meta and Milton Model get a disproportionate amount of cover compared to my experience of the content of an NLP practitioner course’.

Original Training Zone review was written by Krista Powell Edwards

And here's an update from Peter Freeth, author of the book:

It's a pity the reviewer thought that there was too much on Meta and Milton model, as NLP is entirely based on the Meta Model, and if you don't understand that then the rest of NLP isn't going to make as much sense or be as effective. Even Richard Bandler says that if you understand the Meta Model, you can create all of the techniques of NLP from scratch. Sadly, most of the NLP trainers I've seen gloss over the Meta and Milton Models because they themselves don't understand them.


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