Criticism of NLP 
(Neuro Linguistic Programming)

Page Overview

The answers to common criticism of NLP: 
1 -  Isn't NLP manipulative?
2 - The co-creators of NLP teach rapport but are not in rapport themselves.
3 - Isn't NLP fake? Does NLP work?

A creative picture of five people thinking during an NLP Training Course
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Neuro Linguistic Programming(NLP) has received its share of criticism over the past many years.
As an NLP coach, Internationally Certified NLP Trainer, and New Code NLP Trainer, I have shared my views on this page regarding some criticism I hear from those who may never have even attended a single NLP course in their life.

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What are the criticisms of NLP?

The common ones are:
1 - NLP is manipulative.
2- The co-creators of NLP (Dr. John Grinder and Richard Bandler) are not in rapport themselves, but they teach rapport.
3- NLP is fake. Does NLP work?

A lady with a stop sign with hand denoting about Neuro Linguistic Programming
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1 - NLP is manipulative

Yes, NLP doesn’t teach you to be manipulative; it teaches you to be a professional manipulator.

Manipulation in fact, means influence. However, as far as you are in the sensory range of somebody, you are influencing that person.
We are always communicating (verbally or/and non-verbally), hence we are always influencing someone.

Our quality of communication determines the quality of our relationship with others as well as ourselves.

Neuro Linguistic Programming(NLP) can enable you to be mindful of what you communicate and how you communicate, thereby being more influential.

Attending NLP courses (even a 2 days NLP course of mine – ‘NLP Core Skills’- which I facilitate in many cities across India) can enable you to be a professional communicator. Learning NLP can enable you to be more influential in personal and professional relationships, leading to a better quality of life. 

Frank Pucelik (co-creator of NLP), shared in one of his NLP courses I attended that -
Natural communicators are victims of the world. Professional communicators create the life they want.

NLP Practitioners thinking
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Already using NLP!

Some participants who have attended my NLP courses in India and abroad have shared with me that they have already been using NLP techniques, tools, and other aspects of NLP naturally even without knowing that it was NLP techniques and tools. They simply didn’t know consciously that those were actually NLP techniques before formally learning them in my NLP course.
Their observation doesn’t surprise me as an NLP trainer since Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) was created from modelling which also allows to bring into awareness what works to achieve results - which makes the difference in the performance. Since NLP Modelling also involves gaining awareness of communication and behavioural patterns.

An NLP Practitioner in India is questioning
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Unawareness to Awareness

After attending my NLP training, since they now know what works for them, it enables them to replicate that more often and eliminate what’s not working for them. Therefore this enables them to get more consistent results.
Additionally, being aware of their patterns which are giving them the results also allows them to teach others so others too can get consistent positive results like them.

NLP Practitioners in India trained by the best NLP Trainer in India - Abhay Thakkar
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Pattern of a Genius - Dr. Erickson - Hypnotherapist

Very often, even the geniuses in a field of activity are not aware (at least consciously) of what they are doing differently that is giving them the results that they get.
In fact, even Dr. Milton H Erickson (the Hypnotherapist Dr. John Grinder and Richard Bandler modelled) shared the following in the preface of the NLP book – ‘Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Vol. I’:

“They (Dr. John Grinder and Richard Bandler) so clearly state it is a much better explanation of how I work than I, myself, can give. I know what I do, but to explain how I do it is much too difficult for me.” - Dr. Milton H Erickson
NLP Practitioners going for Corporate Training
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2. Co founders of NLP teach rapport, but are not in rapport.

The co-creators of NLP – Dr. John Grinder and Richard Bandler, are often criticized (by people who have not attended NLP training) because John and Richard teach rapport, but they don’t have a rapport since they don’t communicate with each other anymore. 

In an NLP course I had attended, Dr. John Grinder responds to this by saying that the communication between him and Richard Bandler is in fact complete since they choose not to talk to each other anymore.

Rapport is not about likeability or having a close bond in a relationship, although as a by-product ,there is a possibility of a person being perceived as likable since there is a rapport formed.   

However, rapport simply assists in building a state of responsiveness from another person. It can also allow you to ‘agree to disagree.’ 

A poster of breakdown in communication
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2. Isn't NLP fake? Does NLP work?

"If you keep doing what you have done, you will keep getting what you have always got."

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Neuro Linguistic Programming enables us to generate alternate behaviours in situations where we would like to enhance our quality of experience.
Hence, even if a particular NLP technique/tool/pattern hasn't worked, we have an opportunity to generate another NLP pattern to experience the situation differently. Remember, NLP was created from NLP Modelling i.e., decoding and applying communication, behavioural patterns of geniuses so that we too can get successful results. Further, the competency of an NLP Practitioner/ NLP coach plays a role in the effectiveness of applying NLP.

On the homepage of this website, you can find numerous testimonials by participants of my NLP courses in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and other cities in India and overseas which can give you an idea of the effectiveness of NLP Trainings.

A participant experience hypnosis nlp technique during NLP course in Mumbai, India which was facilitated by best NLP coach and best nlp trainer - Abhay U Thakkar
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