What is it that makes one person more popular, or likeable, than another? These 10 traits appear consistently in people others have termed likeable or popular, and those who incorporate these traits into their everyday life may see themselves gaining more success.

1. Name memory

Popular people remember the names of those they meet. Ask any student in school and they will tell you they remember a teacher or administrator who consistently calls them by name. Using names establishes and maintains contact. In addition, calling someone by name makes a person feel recognized and appreciated.

2. Listening skills

Popular people do not focus on themselves, their problems, or their achievements, touting them to crowds wherever they are. Instead, they are active listeners, talking less other than asking a few questions to encourage others to talk. While they are listening, they store information in a positive way, allowing them to hold future conversations that incorporate past conversations. They are also empathic, trying to relate to problems others are having and offering to help in any way they can. They do not expect perfection and tolerate the weaknesses of others well.

3. Positive attitude

One trait that likeable people have is that they are always positive and optimistic. They tend to concentrate on achievements rather than failure and understand that negative thoughts prevent them from moving forward. Most popular people are very grateful for the things they have in life and do not focus on the things they do not.

4. Patience

Likeable people do not expect success overnight. They understand that they will reach their goals and objectives in the long-term, not tomorrow. They are able to reduce triggers that can lead to impatience and are able to adjust the situation when bad temper, anger, or frustration can cause problems.

5. Open and genuine

There is nothing fake about people who are truly popular in the adult world, unlike many kids in high school who enjoy an entirely different kind of popularity. In the adult world, likeable people are sincere, and they follow up on promises, which makes them reliable in any setting. They are open-minded, not automatically assuming their opinions are the only right opinions. They also have unique methods in solving problems, constantly looking for new approaches to obstacles.

6. Failure as a learning tool

Popular people do not look at failure as the end of the story. They look at failure as a learning tool. They understand that failing is a natural part of life, but that it does not define them. They learn from the failure and move on without blaming others for the mistake that led them to fail.

7. Communication skills

In addition to being great listeners, likeable people are also skilled in communication. For some, communication skills come naturally, while others are able to adapt and learn those skills over time. They use a comforting, friendly tone, never mumble or rant, and speak in a manner that conveys their message clearly and succinctly.

8. Never judgmental

Popular people do not judge the actions of others. Again, unlike those popular kids in high school, they do not engage in idle gossip that could damage someone else. They do not interrupt or make others look inferior. They are humble and never boast about their own accomplishments unless it is necessary, and they do not blame others for errors or mistakes. They offer constructive criticism rather than remarks that can be destructive and damaging.

9. Above and beyond

People who are considered likeable often do more than what they are asked to do. They consider their job description as a starting point rather than the only tasks they are required to do. Once they have completed things considered mandatory, they will seek other things to do, especially challenging projects in an effort to help their organization.

10. Enjoy the journey

One trait popular people have that others do not is an enjoyment of the journey ahead of the end result. They focus on building toward a goal and enjoy the steps necessary to reach that goal. Many times, they are more excited about the steps that achieve it than the actual goal itself. They embrace challenges and feel a sense of accomplishment when they overcome obstacles.

These traits of popular people can be applied to anyone, at any time in their life. In adulthood, popularity is a way to achieve success and to create a happier, healthier life.

Published on: Dec 23, 2014
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.