However there is one success secret that costs nothing. And we can all use it today to get ahead more quickly. I am talking about cultivating exceptional people skills in a way that puts you ahead of the crowd, in a way that respects and honors the people you deal with in your life.
Ironically when we neglect people skills the complex business and social infrastructure of our world can fall over in a moment. What do I mean?
Have you ever walked into the store of a major nationwide retailer and walked through the multimillion dollar premises only to find nobody to serve you?
Have you ever phoned your bank and got a busy signal or even worse got cut off despite their huge customer service focused advertising campaigns.
How about in your workplace? Have you ever done a fantastic job, stayed late to get it done and felt taken for granted? The corporate slogan about caring for the welfare of the staff rings hollow after this happens more than once.
On the other hand if you learn from the most successful individuals and companies you will find one trait in common -- excellent people skills.
Here are three ways to become more successful by developing your people skills:
1 Learn from people who manage to remain cheerful in the face of massive challenges and stress.
A good friend of mine was on the verge of losing his business last year but you would never have guessed it. He was always smiling and confident things would get better. He somehow managed to still treat his staff well even when he was worried about running out of money.
By listening to him and watching him cope with extreme financial pressure I learned a lot. His belief that everything would work out kept him smiling even while facing some very dark hours.
You too need to become better under pressure. Anyone can cope well when things are going well. It is only when you shine under pressure that you prove to yourself and the world that you are destined for better things.
2 Exceptional people skills happen at the margin.
To go from average to good and from good to excellent is possible in a short time when you make incremental improvements each day.
You do not need to change your personality or go on a two week course. Simply focus on listening skills, on non verbal communication and on building confidence.
Read some good books, get advice from experts and apply what you learn. By making only very slight improvements where it matters most you will quickly develop exceptional people skills.
The very best performers in sport and in business are only marginally better than their closest competitors and these slight margins make all the difference between winning and losing.
Aim to make marginal improvements in your ability to communicate with confidence and your results will improve dramatically. Now would be a great time to get started!
3 Say what you mean and mean what you say
Mark Twain famously commented that common sense is not that common and today sincerity and honesty are far from common either.
You can stand out from the crowd by making a point of saying what you mean instead of saying what you think people want to hear. Insincerity is a game you can never win as you are always living in fear of getting caught out.
If you follow through on what you say people will respect you for your integrity and you will be known and appreciated as someone who can be counted on.
Be unusual -- hold yourself to a high standard of integrity and commit to saying what you mean and doing what you say you will.
When you live like this each day other people develop confidence in you and in what you say. And success in the world gets a whole lot easier with a team of people who believe in you paving the road ahead.