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Review: NLP for Modeling

The first five chapters of the book deal well with the process of NLP modeling. In fact, they form the clearest description of modeling that I have seen anywhere. Robert Dilts tends to write in a very cognitive style and the analytical description of modeling does not quite match John Grinder’s focus on unconscious processes in modeling. In addition, the use of Dilts’ Logical Levels (Environment, Behaviours, Capabilities, Beliefs and Values, Identity) is not necessarily in agreement with Grinder’s view of modeling. Grinder has specifically questioned how these levels constitute NLP. With this caveat, these five chapters are an extremely useful guide for anyone interested in carrying out NLP modeling, especially because there is such a dearth of published material for this important area, and the writings of John Grinder tend to be very metaphorical which can sometimes get in the way of learning the process.
The remainder of the book after chapter 5 details Dilts’ modeling of leadership skills at the automobile company, Fiat. The objective of the modeling was to model the leadership skills of the successful company managers and to eventually teach those leadership skills to future managers.
While the first half of the book is very well laid out, readable, and accessible to non-academic readers, the second half of the book takes a much more academic research writing style. The signalling of ideas within the text is often not as clear as it could be, and I constantly found myself re-reading sections to find out the main point that the author was trying to make. In addition, while the presentation of an in-depth modeling study seems like an excellent idea for the book, the terminology used to explain the process of modeling in the first half of the book is not used much in the example in the second half and so the reader may not be able to see the connections. Additionally, in the second half, there is sometimes an overemphasis on the content of leadership rather than on the modeling process.
I would love to see a new edition of this book with a number of case studies presented in the second half which demonstrated the principles of modeling more clearly.

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