2016 NLP Leadership Summit

Spain, Jan. 8, 9, and 10, 2016

 NLP Leadership Summit Members – you are invited to attend the NLP Colloquium taking place in Alicante, Spain. We hope you will be able to join us for associating, collaborating, assimilating and communicating with your fellow leaders of NLP.

We are meeting and staying at the Melia Alicante Hotel. Meeting delegates are responsible for their own transportation, accommodation and meals during the meeting. We have secured a group rate to assist everyone to be able to attend.


Design and Intention

  • The plan is to call top NLP Leaders together for a 3-day Colloquium wherein we get acquainted, associate with one another, and have the kind of critical and difficult conversations that we need to have.
  • Leaders: The “leaders” include anyone who is operationally leading people in the field of NLP— Trainers, writers, researchers, editors, sponsors, etc.  anyone who has or is influencing people to care about and operate in the field of NLP.
  • Assumption: Our working assumption about this is— Like it or not, we are the leaders.  The challenge is: how are we doing?  Are we the leaders we need to be?  Are we grooming leaders for the next generation?  Are we leading the field in a way that will make people proud?
  • Leadership: As a field without formal leadership but hundreds if not thousands of operational and functional leaders— the time has come for us to do some critical thinking about where we are and where we want to go.  Attempts have been made to do this in the past, the 1997 Leadership Conference, the 2000 Millennial Project – both led and sponsored by Robert Dilts.
  • Associating: As a field we have lots of Associations and small communities.  These are usually built around a single person or a model, but we do not have a sense of a worldwide community.  We are not seeking to create a super-association, but something much more simple— to simply associate with one another.  The design is to reduce the separations, the suspicion of each other, the bad-mouthing of those we disagree with and create a more respectful and cooperative international presence.
  • Colloquium — colloquium (klkwm) n. pl. colloquiums or colloquia (-kw-)
    1. An informal meeting for the exchange of views.
    2. An academic seminar on a broad field of study, usually led by a different lecturer at each meeting.

[Latin, conversation, from colloqu ,to talk together : com-, com- + loqu, to speak.]

Then, as “an informal meeting for the exchange of views,” our aim will be to come together and use various group self-management processes and practices— Open Space, Appreciative Inquiry, Groups of 8 to 10 persons to work on subjects and sharing results on dozens of flip charts, then sharing the “leadership” by drawing names for who will moderate or summarize and lead a larger group conversation. These are just suggestions given to begin a conversation about how we will move forward.

The Colloquium of 2016

  • Assumptions: The thinking behind the following design is this: We are all leaders and we are already, de facto, co-leading the field of NLP.  So rather than put any one or a group of persons front and center as “the leaders” — we will conduct the Event from the perspective of shared leadership.
  • Proposal: We will have 3 to 4 Facilitators at the front of the room when we gather in the larger, plenary session.  These facilitators will not be presenters.  Their job will be to elicit the agenda and thinking of the group, to facilitate those making reports from the sub-groups, and facilitate the larger group coming to conclusions and/or making decision.
  • We will rotate the Facilitators every time we re-convene in the larger group.
  • We will self-organize into sub-groups of 8 to 10 persons repeatedly.  These will be organized around the questions that we have proposed to guide the Colloquium (see schedule below).
  • Critical Conversations: If in the Conversations in the sub-groups, we have two or more positions arising on an issue, then we will self-organize into sub-groups to represent each position to rally the best argument for a given position.  Each sub-group will select 1 presenter from their group and one Questioner.  Then in the plenary group, the positions will be presented for 10 minutes with 20 minutes for the group Questioner to inquire about the other positions.  The purpose of this — to really listen and seek to understand the thinking and reasoning of each other regarding critical issues.  We may, or may not, come to a group mind about an issue.  But we have begun understanding each other.
  • Sub-groups:  We will form sub-groups of 8 to 10 person.  Each group will select a Facilitator, a Scribe, a Monitor, and a Reporter.  The Reporter will be the person to report back to the large group and we will ask that person to be clear, succinct, and to the point.  Sometimes the will stay in his or her group with the Flip chart that the group created to explain it while the groups go and visit the other group’s flip chart.

One of the Challenges we all face

  • Almost all of us are used to going into a group and being the person in charge.  It is very rare for me to not experience that.  I’m sure that is true for most of you.  So it will be a challenge for all of us to gather and be only one among a whole community of colleagues.  The challenge will probably be how our egos will get in the way.  Yet if we are mindful of this— we can create an atmosphere were we value and respect every person so no one will need to create drama.


Proposed Schedule

The following is a proposal from Michael Hall.


Design of Day 1 is to create the rapport and connection that will inspire a shared vision from which we can then work.

10:00 amOpening the Colloquium.  

We will have a general welcoming to create the atmosphere that we want to create.  The vision of associating with respect, honor, and professionalism in hope of ever-greater collaborations.  A vision about something that is bigger than anyone of us and that transcends all of us.

We will self-organize into sub-groups repeatedly.  We will aim to create completely new and different groups each time so everyone will get acquainted with everyone.  The sub-groups will meet for 90 minutes around a Critical Question and then report back to the plenary group.

 10:45 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 12:00  Question #1

  • What do we agree upon?  In terms of vision, values, and identity.  How can we keep our vision and our values front and center – so it qualifies what we say and do?

12 to 1 — Plenary Summary

1 to 2:30 – Lunch

2:30 – 3:30   Question #2:

  • What do we want in terms of credibility, research, standards, and reputation (branding)?  What are we willing to do? [Recommendation: different groups take each one of the four areas and report back.]

3:30 – 4:00   Plenary Summary

4:00 – 4:15 Break

4:15– 5:15   Question #3:

  • What is in the way which is blocking and interfering with achieving our vision?  What are the problems that we need to address as a community?

5:15– 6:00   Summary – Wrap up for Day 1

If each question takes 60 to 90 minutes in sub-groups and then 30 to 60 minutes in the plenary.  That makes up the day … and we can use the evenings for socializing.



As a field, we face some very significant problems.  It is only realistic and professional for us to talk about them, and not ignore or pretend that they don’t exist.  And yet, as we all teach in NLP 101 about “solution focus” versus “problem focus” questions and orientation — our purpose is not to blame or accuse, but to find creative solutions together.  That’s what we have been seeking to do in the NLP Leadership Summit for the past three years.

10:00 – 11:00   Question #4:

  • Regarding Standards around NLP trainings, to what extent can we accelerate learning and competency through distance learning tools?  What minimum content would you like to see included in NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner trainings?   What assessment criteria or certifications standards do you currently have in place in your own trainings
  • Three questions about standards.

11:00 – 11:15 Break

11:15 – 11:45– Plenary Summary

11:45 – 1:00  – Question #5

  • What can we do about these interferences?  What are we already doing?  What else needs to be done?      

 1:00 – 2:30 Lunch

2:30 – 3:30 – Question #6:

  • Who do we need to be with each other— in associating— so that we can be more skilled and competent to solve these problems?

 3:30 – 3:45 Break

3:45 – 5:00 – Plenary summary and wrap up for Day 2


We want to end on a high and so the third day is designed so that we walk away feeling that we have come to better understand ourselves and each other, and that we have an action plan for moving forward.

 10:00 – Opening

Opening to set frame for the day focusing on a brighter future.

10:30 – 11:30 – Question #7:

  • What can we learn from each other?  There is a lot of wisdom and experience in this place, what can we learn from each other?  How can we do that?

11:30  – 11:45 Break

11:45- 1:00 – Plenary Summary

1:00 – 2:30 Lunch

2:30 – 3:30  – Question #8:

  • What will we do?  What ongoing work groups will we establish?   Menu List:
    • Membership of NLP Leadership summit work group
    • Research/ academic work group
    • Wikepedia work group
    • Website work group: to host information about world-wide events and activities in the field of NLP.

3:30 – 3:45 Break

3:45 – 5:00  — Final Plenary Session, conclusion and wrap up

We will want to end on a high — something memorable, emotional, personal, intimate.  Music?  Ceremony of some sort –

What is each person taking away?  Appreciative about?  What worked – what did not work?