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The Six Best NLP Books For Business

Updated on June 25, 2013


Quite simply, this is my review of the best of the many business NLP books out there. If you know of a book that should be in this list, why not let me know at

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Coaching Leaders: NLP - Emotional Intelligence - Coaching

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Develop Your NLP Skills by Andy Bradbury - Best for - the reader with not much time

The best thing about this book is its brevity (although, now in its fourth edition, additional material has been added to make it longer than it started out). If that sounds like damning with faint praise, it isn't. So many books about NLP are lengthier than they need to be, making it hard for a busy working person to find the time and motivation to get through them.

This book is different. It's written by someone with practical management experience, who recognises that most managers are motivated by a need to find solutions to common business problems, rather than by a fascination for the minutiae of NLP.

So it's written in a chatty, accessible style, in short chapters and headed paragraphs. It's organised by area of application, rather than by NLP technique. There are chapters on building relationships, presentations, discipline, appraisals, motivation, negotiation, sales and meetings among other relevant topics.

Nevertheless, the book covers most of the NLP basics: presuppositions, representational systems, rapport, well-formed outcomes, metaprograms, chunking, anchoring, and (most of) the Meta Model.

There are plenty of examples, tips for using NLP in the real world, and a handy glossary of NLP terms. All presented inside 170 pages!

If you are a time-strapped reader, you'll appreciate a short review. So just buy it!

Influencing With Integrity by Genie Z. Laborde - Best for - meetings and negotiations

This is the classic work on using NLP in sales, meetings and negotiation. One of the best things about this book is that, as the title suggests, it effectively answers that old chestnut about NLP being manipulative.

The author has a gift for keeping things simple. Let me give you an example: the NLP "Meta Model" is a set of questions which you can use to clarify what someone is saying to you, and to spot where they've left out vital information or left things so vague that misunderstandings creep in. It's extremely useful in a work context – for example, so that you can make sure before you put loads of effort in that the project you're delivering for your boss is what she actually wanted!

The only problem with the original Meta Model is that there's quite a lot of questions to remember – twelve or thirteen in most versions of it. This is too many to remember without a lot of practice, as the conscious mind usually has difficulty coping with more than about seven chunks of information at once (if you're having a bad day, the figure is more like five).

In the book, Genie boils the Meta Model down to just five types of "Pointers" which you can "anchor" to your fingers so you can remember them easily! She also has useful exercises to help you sharpen your sensory awareness, and plenty of useful material about effective meetings, business communication, and how to negotiate.

"Influencing With Integrity" is on the recommended reading list for my NLP Practitioner courses. Anyone in business will benefit from reading this.

NLP At Work by Sue Knight - Best for - aspiring leaders

A very clear and well-structured overview of NLP as it applies to business. Sue Knight is a UK-based trainer and consultant with a long track record in business.

The book is very clearly written from the recognition that we need to make sure our own house is in order, before we start trying to apply NLP techniques to change people and situations around us.

Her book is great on the importance of integrity and congruence in organisations, and on how to use sensory-rich language in corporate communications. I also found this book useful in my work in brand positioning a few years ago.

Most of the NLP basics are covered, with the exception of some of the purely therapeutic patterns (such as the 'phobia cure') which are not really relevant in a business context.

The reader benefits from an attractive layout, with plenty of images and diagrams, readable chapters, and plenty of practical exercises and 'thought-provokers' so that you're not restricted to passively taking in information.

The second, expanded edition includes chapters on coaching and hypnotic language. Highly recommended!

NLP Business Masterclass by David Molden - Best for - practical applications

If you're looking for an NLP book written from the perspective of someone with real, solid business experience, this is it.

This book is packed with real examples from Molden's career as a training and development manager and subsequently as a consultant. This would not be the place to get a step-by-step in-depth description of every NLP technique – rather, the book is focused on practical applications of NLP to common business problems, and it's all the better for that.

Having said that, the book does cover a lot of NLP material from many sources – even including a "mind programming unit" for turning up or turning down the emotional impact of your memories and imagined events which is inspired (if I'm not mistaken) from Richard Bandler's more recently developed "Design Human Engineering".

There is also a useful section on modelling excellence which, although it may not satisfy NLP purists, is designed so that anyone can use it to get valuable results.

Molden has invited other consultants using NLP in business to contribute chapters on their areas of expertise. Along with his own contributions, this gives us a wealth of applications to areas including customer service, time management, presentations, risk assessment and running better meetings.

The book will be equally useful to two quite different types of readers: managers looking for high-impact interventions without the jargon, and NLP practitioners looking for innovative and practical ways to apply their skills in business.

Words That Change Minds by Shelle Rose Charvet - Best for - communicating with people

Unlike some of the other books I've reviewed, this one does not attempt to cover the whole of NLP as it applies to business.

Instead, it goes into depth on just one area: meta programs. These are the "content-free filters" we use to filter incoming sensory information and so make up our model of the world.

This might sound heavy, but it isn't at all - thanks to Shelle's writing style she presents the subject in a simple, understandable and highly readable way.

The model she uses is based on the Language and Behaviour (LAB) Profile developed by Rodger Bailey - a simplification of the original 60 (!) meta-programs down to 14, along with the questions you can use to elicit them. This is a kind of psychometric test, although as people may have different meta-programs in different contexts, and they may change over time, it's emphatically not about pigeonholing people.

Just as importantly, Shelle also tells you the kind of language to use to reach particular kinds of people - useful in sales, negotiation, motivation and deciding who to hire for a particular job. She even tells you how to write recruitment ads to appeal to people with the right meta program profile for the job, so the unsuitable applicants won't even contact you!

For the depth of information it covers, the book is surprisingly chatty. There are even some cartoons! And Shelle has a very sharp sense of humour.

The Unfair Advantage by Duane Lakin - Best for - sales professionals

This is very different from the other NLP books I've reviewed. It's targeted at one specific application area – sales. And it's definitely a workbook, large-format and spiral bound.

In fact, the publishers describe it as a "workshop in a workbook" and give it a hefty price tag to match. No matter – bite the bullet, treat it as an investment and shell out. If you are a sales professional who hasn't come across NLP before, implementing the techniques in this book will return your investment many times over.

As befits its target market, there is very little theory in the book – in fact it's mostly exercises. You'll have to do the exercises to get the benefit.

The book takes you through using NLP in face-to-face sales, direct mail, and (if you must) telemarketing. There's also some very sneaky objection-handling techniques.

Bonus review: Objections! Objections! Objections! by Gavin Ingham

Best for - objection handling in sales

If you are in sales, you also need to know about this. It's an incredibly useful book on using NLP and other techniques to handle (you guessed it) objections. There's more good stuff on his site.

Order a signed copy direct from Gavin at

Get a customizable NLP Practitioner manual that you can re-brand as your own

An ideal manual for a business-oriented NLP Practitioner course

If you're a newly-qualified NLP trainer, looking at creating your own manual for your first NLP Practitioner course, this fully-customizable NLP Practitioner manual in Microsoft Word format could be what you are looking for. It's aimed at a business-oriented course, but you could easily add more changework processes if you want.

It's designed to save you time (which of course is also money) when you're putting your course together.

This 138-page manual covers the Association for NLP's content requirements for NLP Practitioner training. In fact, it exceeds them - in recognition of the fact that many Business-oriented NLP courses include Meta Programs, the manual includes a section covering six of the most useful Meta Programs for business.

The manual also includes an overview of Modelling, which I have found to be a useful thing to include as part of the final integration segment of a Practitioner course.

Do you want to get an idea of the content, and the style it's written in? Of course you do - you can download the Contents and the Introduction here to give you enough information to make your buying decision.

Also included - a bare-bones suggested session plan for an 8 to 10 day business-oriented NLP Practitioner course using this manual. It's in MS Word format so you can easily amend it to fit your needs.

Download the manual here

Amazon Spotlight Personal Review


What do you think of these books? What other business NLP books should I be including - and why?

Have your say

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    • CornellMarCom LM profile image

      CornellMarCom LM 

      5 years ago

      NLP Is how we live our lives. To understand it is to understand humanity. Great information.

    • ClaimYourPower profile image


      5 years ago

      I have the Richard Bandler book too. These are also excellent rocommendations.

    • coachingleaders profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @nlpcoachingaustralia: Thanks - I do like that book in a lot of ways, but it's a strange one, like two different books put together. The 'Time Line Therapy' bit is obviously about therapy rather than business, and I think most of the metaprogram material is more readably and comprehensively covered in 'Words That Change Minds'.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I would also like to suggest the books of Tad and Adriana James. Especially the book "Time Line Therapy® and the Basis of Personality".

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      As an NLP practitioner I would also like to recommend "The Life Coaching Handbook" by Curly Martin as a great guide to starting a practice.

      Loved your site and choice of books.

    • coachingleaders profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @eddierog: Thanks Eddie - I must confess I haven't read that one. Sound's like it's sort of in competition with my own "Achieve Your Goals: Strategies To Transform Your Life" but I bet Bandler's book is outselling mine!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      One of the first NLP books I read was from the master himself Richard Bandler

      "Get the life you want" I think it's a good starting point if you want to learn

      more about NLP and how it can help you achieve your goals.

    • The Coaching Re profile image

      The Coaching Re 

      6 years ago

      I have not read all of the recommended books, but I have read and learned a lot of nlp techniques that are very helpful in my work as a business coach working with senior managers in large corporations.

    • Linda R Ferguson profile image

      Linda R Ferguson 

      6 years ago

      As we often are, we're on the same page here. I'm glad you put these together and will recommend this to my community of NLPers

    • UKGhostwriter profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent lens! - well done

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      nice made list / lens...why not make a squidlit ?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent and fairly exhaustive list, I've only read two of all of the ones that you recommended. I'll definitely have to look into 'Words that Change Minds', thanks for the reviews!

      The guy with the candle making site

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice lens.Thanks for sharing. strategic planning software

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Really interesting

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great post very informative thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love "Words that Change Minds"! Blessed by an angel :)

    • coachingleaders profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @huvalbd: Thanks Bonnie! Which industry do you need books for - healthcare? IT?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very helpful--someone recommended a book about NLP to me, but it is targeted to a specific industry that isn't my industry. I was looking for alternatives, and you provided them.

    • colingsmith lm profile image

      colingsmith lm 

      7 years ago

      Useful Lens! Nice and clear reviews of the books. Please visit my lens and if you like it, leave a comment and Lensroll it. Your Internal Dialogue

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I want to have that books soon..

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for this nice really helps for me... I want to have a hand carry of that NLP books.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice lens! This is a very interesting collection of books you've put together. When you have the chance, please drop by my lens Reinvent Your Enterprise and say hello.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Green Light Selling is great. Beyond Selling needs to be on your List. Games Great Salespeople Play by L. Michael Hall is awesome, as is Persuasion Engineering explained. I sales please mention Dr. Kevin Hogan and Jeffery Gitomer! I am currently writing a NLP/Hypnosis in selling book. I have been researching since Tony Robbins Power to Influence course. RRI told me to buy Unlimited Selling Power by Moine, add it to your list

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I really enjoyed the lens! I think it's very convenient to have all of these guides all together in one group. Really saves me a lot of time searching all of them. If you get a moment check out my site at

      NLP Courses blog

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I am surprised you have overlooked my book, Green Light Selling. It was published in 1990, was sold in more than 30 countries in its first 6 months and has been the core book for Weber State University's Sales and Marketing Technology senior course for many years. The first edition sells frequently on and the latest edition is available through

      Let me know if you need more details.

      Don Aspromonte


    • profile image


      10 years ago


      Good Information i rated it 5 stars. Look at my lens satellite TV on PC.

      Dan ;)


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