3 Rare People Skills You Need For Success

What makes you think you have the skills to succeed? When I meet someone new I often ask myself whether they have the personal qualities for success. There are many, but here are 3 that are, in my experience, particularly rare.


This is one of the most misunderstood of all human behaviours. If you ask 3 people what it means, you’ll probably get 3 different answers. The worst definition I’ve ever heard is that assertive behaviour means being aggressive enough to get what you want. That person couldn’t be farther from the truth. One of the best definitions came from my mother-in-law who describes it as “modest confidence”. Assertive people know that everybody has a right to be respected and valued. They know that you can be who you are and have what you deserve without anyone else losing out. You don’t need to shout about yourself or put anyone else down to feel good about who you are.


Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey and Sir Richard Branson all share this rare people skill. The secret ingredients include a battery of socially magnetic traits: social and emotional poise, having an interest in others, intelligent curiosity, a sense of humour and self confidence. It’s difficult not to be charmed by people sharing these rare people skills. If you feel you don’t have enough charm you need not fear: it’s possible to become more enchanting. Buy a copy of Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment [buy Enchantment (US)] [buy Enchantment (UK)] for some great tips. All you need to do is practice each one of these qualities in turn until you’ve mastered them. Start using them right away. Eventually you’ll become as charming as a prince.


This can also be described as the ability to cut through the social Gordian knot. We meet all sorts of people every day, some will be helpful in your success journey. Others will distract, detain and de-rail you from your path. These are the kind of people who’s agenda is not compatible with your success. Here’s a blog post all about the kinds of people who prevent you from achieving. Truly successful people have learned the ability to focus on their goals and neutralise the effects of these people without hurting those around them. You can become rich without caring about hurting others, but that’s not true success.

The Next Steps

Develop these skills through careful study, introspection and practise. Be assertive in all your social interactions. Use charm to get what you want and help others get what they want. Focus on your path, your goals and never allow yourself to be distracted by misguided social ‘obligations’ that are really social choices.

Author: Lynne Mashhadi

Lynne Mashhadi is co-Founder of the Inspiration Zone. She is also a Partner in Design Inspiration and the Founder of Clutter.co.uk. Lynne is an experienced writer and content curator. She is known as The Clutter Expert by many people and as a talented freelance writer by others. She is a businesswoman and mother of 3 children who wouldn't like to be called children any more.

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