Your Radical Sabbatical: join us for DEEPER CONVERSATIONS on life and leadership, in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada, 26th to 30th March 2019. 

  • Four transformational days where you will : 
  • - press pause, slow down, and reflect on where you are in your life and work.  
  • - gain new perspectives on what it means to lead in today's world.  
  • - explore the shifting tides of next generation leadership.  
  • - practice new skills as a conversation leader.  
  • - acquire a framework for leadership conversations that create true connection, meaning, engagement, ownership and action.  
  • - acquire a range of tools, tips and techniques to sustain the healthiest and happiest version of you.  
  • - free yourself up to focus on what's important by building trust into all your relationships.  
  • - enjoy a sense of renewal with fresh perspectives and new insights to re-energise you.  
  • - take quality time to decide the next steps on your path to success.  

"DC week was a complete reset for me. It was a refreshing, unexpected step away from the corporate world. It is about leadership being experienced and learned, rather than management being taught. I gained a new self-focus and self-awareness that impacted every part of my life." - Leader, oil and gas industry 

Why CONVERSATION as a form of leadership?

There's an edge you come to in every conversation. An edge where you can stop and back away. Or an edge that takes you to deeper insight, understanding, appreciation and commitment. An edge where, as the literal meaning of the word conversation reveals, you can "turn things around." 

It is at this edge that life and leading flourishes or fails. 

In many ways leading is conversation:

  •  It's about the questions you ask. It's about the answers you hear.
  •  It's about what you listen for and where you listen from. 
  • It's about how you connect to others. 
  • It's about how you unleash possibilities in people. 
  • It's about moving things forward together. It's about opening up to more than you can create on your own. 
  • It's about discovering answers beyond what you think possible. 
  • It's about welcoming change, creativity, innovation and transformation. 
  • It's about finding your edge and stepping beyond it. 

We are natural conversationalists in that we can all talk, yet we've become lazy and careless with our words, our thoughts, our attention and all too often our relationships, in a world which values quick answers, truncated responses, and which relies on technology to convey our messages and emotions to each other. A world where many conversations are incomplete and unfulfilling.

Yearning for deeper, more meaningful and more complete conversation, many people turn to professional coaches, believing they can't have these important conversations in their workplace. We know you can. Our experience with leaders from Kazakhstan to Venezuela, across Europe and North American and into Africa, has shown us it's possible. 

It's why we've taken the fundamentals of those inspirational coaching conversations and translated them into a powerful and sustainable approach to leadership so that you, your team and your organisation truly thrive. 

Anticipate a sabbatical-like experience: You'll find yourself in an inspiring setting, reconnecting with the healing power of nature, connecting with leaders from other walks of life, inspiring and being inspired conversation by conversation. You'll gently chip away at your assumptions and new insights will gradually reveal themselves to you as you reflect, re-energize and renew what leading means for you. Expect the unexpected and prepare to surprise yourself. Clear away the clutter and trust the conversations as you listen your leadership and your love for life fully into being.  

You'll join a small group (max 12) peers and you'll leave refreshed and equipped with simple, yet powerful tools, tips, techniques and insights to practice and use daily in all aspects of your life

Since it's inception in 2001, DC has run once or twice a year in Canada and in Scotland, attended by hundreds of leaders from companies as global as BP, Schlumberger, ConocoPhillips and others, as well as leaders from mission-driven entrepreneurial companies, from education and social services as well as independent coaches and consultants. Whatever the environment, leaders have consistently told us DC changes their whole perspective on leadership, and is often been life-changing on a personal level too.  

See the detailed outline of the DC week timetable here 

Meet our Master Conversationalists and Well-Being Faculty: 

Aileen Gibb

Founder of DC. Master Coach, Converationalist, Author, TEDx Speaker, Questioner, Listener, Boxer Dog Lover, Skiier, Avid Reader, who shares her time between her adopted Canada and her homeland of Scotland. Aileen has been a Master Masteries Coach with the International Association of Coaching since 2011 and is a past Fellow of the UK Institute of Personnel Development. She holds a BA Degree from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and has attended a wide range of leadership and personal development programs over the years (too many to list). Aileen has over twenty years experience training, facilitating and coaching global leaders since 1997. 



Gary Diggins 

Master Listener, Creative Spirit, Artist, Sound Practitioner, Poet, Coach and Conversationalist. Author, Teacher and Holder of the DC Rhythm. World Traveller and Family Man living in Guelph, Ontario. Gary holds two counselling qualifications and a certificate in Inspirational Coaching from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. He teaches on the Expressive Arts Department of Fleming college and lectures at universities in Canada and abroad. He is a regular presenter at Laurier University's Community Music Program. As a lead facilitator for Mindfulness Without Borders since 2007 He works with genocide survivors in Rwanda and former child soldiers in Uganda. These experiences inspire powerful lessons in leadership.


Ronna Schneberger  

Mountain Guide, Shinrin Yoku Leader, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, and Authentic Nature Spirit. Coach and Leadership Faculty at Banff Centre. Ronna lives in Canmore with her husband and two daughters and is a member of the International Association of Coaching. She holds a Hatha Yoga qualification (500 hours), and guiding qualifications with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and the Interpretive Guides Associaion. Ronna connects learning from the world of nature with key insights that support leaders in business today. Ronna supports DC participants in reflecting on their own well-being and health using indoor and outdoor activities.


The Difference you'll make by attending DC week: 

  • You'll shift from telling and controlling to listening and inspiring
  • You'll grow your trust in others, increasing ownership and accountability  
  • You'll understand how to unleash creativity and innovation in your team
  • You'll strengthen your team and organisation culture to build a sustainable human-focussed enterprise
  • You'll free yourself up to be more strategic and shift your focus out of the day to day weeds 
  • You'll see increased potential in yourself, your team and your business 
  • You'll be freer to live your life more fully, to dream bigger and to lead more boldly

"Beyond all this, DC is a magical, surprising experience that goes beyond words and which stays with you, creating ripples and deepening layer by layer for a long time afterwards. I can't tell you everything you'll get from your DC exerience. Many years later I meet participants who tell me their DC experience stayed with them and had an ongoing life-changing impact." 

"DC was a door-opening experience that changed the way I think, act and talk at work, and in other parts of my life. I now ask difficult questions that can't immediately be answered and I find that helps people grow and to think in different ways. It's an attitude shift that's widely needed in the oil and gas industry." (Ian) 


"I had been in management for over twenty years, yet had never learned the skills and perspectives I gained on DC. Subsequently these skills helped me negotiate the sale of my company in a multi-million $$ deal." (Mike) 


"The conversations were really great. They were very rich conversations with a lot more listening on my part. I now understand people much better and our relationships are stronger. People gave me good feedback that they enjoyed the process. Co-creating goals with them really rocks!" (Ian. W) 

"My coaching experience has been so valuable. Not only have I gained focus, self reflection, enhanced decision making and a sense of perspective. I have become a stronger, more effective and fulfilled leader. All of this is down to your coaching style. Your insight helps me focus and rapidly achieve my goals "'

Is DC the learning experience for you?

YES: if you want to play in the emerging landscape of leadership. Both new and seasoned leaders will find surprise in this new conversation. It's also for you if you need a sabbatical - time to stop, breathe and reflect on where your life and work are taking you. Leaders and Coaches who attend DC describe it as a personal learning experience that adds new depth to their life and their work.  


" I really wish I had done this radical sabbatical ten years earlier, in order to have longer to extract the benefit from this transformational experience. I left the week with a clearer head, sharper hearing and a vision open to all sorts of possibilities. Four months on and this sense still prevails. Aileen and Gary facilitated the session masterfully amongst nine strangers at the beginning to reach a deeper sense of understanding between us and about ourselves at the end." Peter, C-Suite Leader, Oil and Gas Industry

"DC was a complete reset for me. It was a refreshing, unexpected step away from the corporate world. It is about leadership being experienced and learned, rather than management being taught. I gained a new self-focus and self-awareness that impacted every part of my life." - Lorna, Leader, oil and gas industry 

"My boss told me I would not get promoted to the next level without further development of my people skills. DC gave me those skills and much more. I got promoted to leading more people AND to negotiating my company's merger in an acquisition. Without that I don't know where I'd be today" - Paul, Oil and Gas Industry, Executive VP, Calgary 

"Before DC, I had never stayed on any course past the second day. Not only did I stay for the whole week of DC, I have continued to use the skills I gained every day for the two years since my time there" - Colin, CEO and Venture Capitalist  

"Thank you for making this week possible. The gathering of such diverse people is wonderful as is the deeply human message and creative space." - Mary, Public Mediator and Social Entrepreneur

"Thank you so much for leading us all through this week. When I think of you I am reminded that "less really is more". You have shown me the power that comes from listening (really listening) and I will carry that forward" - Pat, Oil and Gas Industry 

"Wow, this is truly your gift. You truly make the world a better place through your meaningful conversations. Thank you for this week. It's opened up a whole new world for me. I feel I can bring my gifts out in a new way. Thank you for seeing the possibility when I could not." - Ronna, Mountain Guide 

"Thank you for providing me with the space to ask questions about myself so that I can move forward to find out about the real me and what I really want to do in life" - Catriona 

"This program you have created is truly amazing. It's really for people on this planet to find themselvs in a very beautiful way. I will attempt to share your dream with all those I come into contact with through coaching, listening and conversation. Thank you for helping me to search for my dreams" - Jonathan, Business Start-Up Entrepreneur  

"No-one knows how you do it (including yourself, I imagine) and what you do with DC is so profound, joyous and transformative that you create an unforgettable learning experience for many" - Ian, Best Selling Author