The Buzz is an interesting and topical self-help style book aimed at building the confidence of teenagers through raising self-understanding and exploring preferences. When I read the blurb, which describes itself as blending Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) with personality type theory, I did wonder whether learning styles or discussion of cognition would feature and felt a little apprehensive about reviewing; I am unsure about profiling because it can have a tendency to act as a labeller for people, limiting movement within a given profile. Yet, on the other hand, it can help affirm a sense of identity and build an understanding of how this develops which is particularly relevant for the audience The Buzz is aimed at.
This article was originally published in the November 2015 Edition of our UKEdMagazine
It seems education and psychology have become synonymous with each in the last year, with brain gym and preference profiling being replaced with the understanding of grit and resilience now taking priority, which may have influenced the republishing of this new edition of the book. Hodgson’s style is accessible for teens and offers a light approach to helping them build confidence through an understanding of self. Separated into three main sections focused on personality, behaviour and action, The Buzz offers a skeleton model for teens to reflect on themselves, before working towards where they could go next. The book is loaded with short practical activities, which if enacted, could lead to changes in thinking patterns and combined with the style, read like a cognitive behaviour therapy manual. As a light touch to attempting to ‘think on the bright side’, I feel this could be useful to teens as it develops some awareness of place and self; as anything more, I am unsure that it is of benefit, however, this view may be influenced by my limitations as a writer and own reading preferences.
All sections feel quite content heavy when reading, but are balanced by the conversational tone of Hodgson’s writing. Personally, I found this book to be a bit much for me due to that – I felt it too over friendly for me – but I am aware I read through the eyes of an adult with an interest and experience of some of the things discussed in the book. As a reviewer, I can only offer a review on my imagined perception of what teens would make of it. From the teenagers I’ve experienced, I think they would find it readable and entertaining based on the humour.
I think this book is useful on the basis that it encourages a positive self-theory that can then lead to less anxiety and better consequential decision making, in turn affecting motivation – one success can cultivate the next if a person is able to frame their place in the world positively. However, I would encourage readers to bear in mind that the writer has written from a point of view of being interested in NLP and Personality Theory, the latter being able to be applied quite generically; for teens who are in need of some vague direction, this may be a pleasant read, but for those who are in need of support and more personal guidance, I wouldn’t recommend it. As educators (or parents/guardians) the relevance of this book is dependent upon you knowing the teenager you’re considering giving it to.
View on Amazon at www.bit.ly/buzzconfidence – Priced at £9.99 (paperback) and £8.00 (Kindle) at time of publishing