Why we shouldn't use NLP

I first encountered Neuro-Linguistic Programming in the session “NLP for Software Development Coaches” at XP Day 4. My first question was “does NLP have a valid basis in the mainstream scientific community?”. Nobody there seemed to know.


Good advice from 1556: The Robert Recorde Memorial at Swansea University.

I’ve encountered NLP a few times since in the agile community and I’d like to document some reasons why we shouldn’t use it:

Where’s the Scientific Basis for NLP?

Much has already been said elsewhere about the lack of a scientific basis for NLP. I’m just going to provide two references I found interesting here:

Basically, absence of evidence doesn’t deserve the “benefit of doubt”: it merely indicates that the hypothesis doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.


The mature thing to do is to accept that you’re not always going to get what you want and that the best way of influencing people is to build relationships through open, clear communication and honesty.