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An innovative listening technique may be the key to improving communication.

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This story appears in the December 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Stuart Kirk used to rely on facts, logic and reason when he was talking to someone. That's understandable--he's a trained mathematician and statistician, and worked as a corporate information technology director before founding Taconic Woods Consulting, a one-person Yorktown Heights, New York, leadership and communications training firm.

But Kirk says of his former ways, "I don't think it worked very well at all." Now when he sits down to speak with a client or business associate, he thinks less about facts and logic and more about hypnotic language and using words or gestures as anchors. This works a lot better, he says, especially when it comes to creating a sympathetic mood with others. And, says Kirk, "the ability to sit down with somebody and establish rapport quickly and easily makes a tremendous difference to your presence in a meeting."

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