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by Vault Consulting Editors | February 20, 2008

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Not that your people skills aren't perfect as they are, but it's always good to be up on the most recent findings in human psychology, especially for those of us in client-facing roles. Read up on some interesting findings that delve into the art of persuasion - you might just pick up on a few pointers for your next client or investor meeting.

One of the researchers' main points of interest is calculated mimicry - they noticed that people respond most strongly and positively to those individuals who mirror their gestures, postures, mannerisms, etc., in subtle ways, generally with a two-second delay. "Really good salespeople, and for that matter good con artists, have known about these skills and used them forever," Jeremy Bailenson, a psychologist at Stanford, said. "All we're doing now is measuring and describing more precisely what it is theyre doing, whether consciously or not."

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