success-business-womanRobert Cialdini’s research shows that people are influenced by people that they like, for example, people like to buy from people they like.  Being likable, then, is an important part of being influential and Jeff Haden shares ways to be exceptionally likeable in an article on Inc.  Jeff has identified 11 things exceptionally likeable do including:

1. They shift the spotlight to others.

No one receives enough praise. No one. So start by telling people what they did well.

Wait, you say you don’t know what they did well? Shame on you–it’s your job to know. It’s your job to find out ahead of time. Not only will people appreciate your praise, they’ll appreciate the fact you care enough to pay attention to what they do.

And then they’ll feel a little more accomplished and a lot more important, and they’ll love you for making them feel that way.

2. They listen a lot more than they talk.

Ask questions. Maintain eye contact. Smile. Frown. Nod. Respond–not so much verbally, but nonverbally. That’s all it takes to show the other person he or she is important.

Then when you do speak, don’t offer advice unless you’re asked. Listening shows you care a lot more than offering advice does, because when you offer advice, in most cases, you make the conversation about you.

Don’t believe me? Who is “Here’s what I would do …” about: you or the other person?

Only speak when you have something important to say–and always defineimportant as what matters to the other person, not to you.

3. They don’t practice selective hearing.

Some people–I guarantee you know people like this–are incapable of hearing anything said by someone they feel is somehow beneath them.

Sure, you speak to them, but that particular falling tree doesn’t make a sound in the forest, because there’s no one actually listening.

Remarkably charismatic people listen closely to everyone, and they make all of us, regardless of our position or social status or “level,” feel like we have something in common with them.

Because we do. We’re all human.

4. They’re thoughtful simply because they want to be.

I pulled into a service bay to get my oil changed. As I got out of the car, one of the techs said, “Man, those are nice wheels. Too bad they’re so dirty.” He smiled, just teasing.

“I know,” I said. “My next stop is the car wash.” Then I went inside to wait.

When I walked to my car to leave, the tech was just standing up, filthy rags in his hand. “It took some work, but I got ’em all clean,” he said. Every rim sparkled. Every speck of brake dust was gone.

“Wow, that’s awesome, but you didn’t have to do that,” I said.

“We’re not very busy,” he shrugged. “I had time. Figured I would make ’em look better.” Just then a car pulled into another bay so he hustled away, saying over his shoulder, “Have a good day.”

That was years ago, but I still haven’t forgotten it.

Instead of turning idle time into “me time,” likable people use their free time to do something nice–not because they’re expected to, but just because they can.

Read the full list at How to Be Exceptionally Likable: 11 Things the Most Charming People Always Do