ge·stalt noun gə-ˈstält, -ˈshtält, -ˈstȯlt, -ˈshtȯltEO small

psychology: Something that is made of many parts and yet is somehow more than or different from the combination of its parts; broadly: the general quality or character of something

I said yes to an invitation in 2007, to learn more about the dynamic business group, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, (EO). As a result of this introduction and subsequent induction into EO, I have been fortunate enough to have traveled the world mingling with presidents of foreign countries and to have had cocktails with numerous CEO’s of Fortune 500 firms. EO has had as much impact on my life as water has had to a fish. Specifically, one of my greatest rewards and learned skill sets of becoming a member of EO has been the training in the Gestalt Language Protocol (GLP).

Here are some impactful ingredients of GLP:

1. Speak from experience rather than give advice. By sharing experiences, we end up with data that promotes better decision-making. Sharing experience also allows for bonding and cohesion building in a group.

· Say, “Here’s what worked for me…”

· Empathize. Strive to understand the situation from the presenter’s point of view.

Remember that no one else has to live with the consequences, and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another.

2. Ask questions to lower others’ defenses. Try to explain the purpose of your question before asking it. Don’t treat the presenter like a defendant.

3. Share experiences that have both positive and negative outcomes. This boosts your credibility and shows you’re able to learn from your mistakes as well as your triumphs.

4. Listen well. Write your thoughts and questions as they arise. This frees up your mind to listen until it’s your turn to speak.

5. Paraphrase before you respond. Confirm what you think you heard before you reply. This ensures that you respond to what was said, not what you think was said.

6. Maintain eye contact as you listen to a speaker.

Gestalt Language Protocol is a way of speaking, listening and sharing our experiences rather then just “giving advice.”

Michael Knapp



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