What is it that makes some people likable, and others not so much? There are all sorts of reasons, and the good news is that anyone can adopt the best of these habits to become more likable themselves.

But why does being likable matter? The fact is that the more likable you are, the better you will get along with your co-workers and others in your life. And the better you get along with others, the more successful you will be. People want to work (and spend their lives) with people they like, and they want to avoid (sometimes at any cost) those they don't like.

If you want to improve your relationships, up your performance, and be more successful--on the job, and in your life--then give these 7 habits of remarkably likable people a try.

1. Be interested in the other person

People know when you're really interested in them, and when you're not. To be likable, be honestly curious about other people and ask them questions about their lives. This is not a time to fake it. Insincerity is an instant turn off--and a quick ticket to being disliked.

2. Be focused

Scientists have found that people can think more than three times faster than they can speak (500 words per minute versus 150 words per minute). As a result, your mind may wander when you're talking with someone else, and they may mistakenly believe you're not interested in them. Stay focused on your conversations, and people will like you better.

3. Be friendly

People simply like people who are friendly and open better than people who are unfriendly and closed. If you want to be more likable, then make a point of being friendly and open with everyone you meet.

4. Ask questions

When you ask people questions--and then listen to what they have to say--you're clearly demonstrating to the other person that you value what they have to say, and that you value them as individuals. This is a sure way to increase your likability.

5. Be an active listener

It's not enough, of course, to just ask questions--you also have to listen to the answers. Being an active listener, where you summarize that the other person says, and then repeat it back to them, is a great way of both improving communication, and showing that you are really listening to what they are saying.

6. Avoid interruptions

There's nothing that says to someone that they aren't important more clearly than interrupting an important conversation to check your smartphone for text messages, or tapping your computer keyboard and staring at your monitor. Give the other person your full attention, and if for some reason you're going to need to break off the conversation (perhaps you're expecting a call from a client), then let the other person know in advance.

7. Use more than your ears

Scientists tell us that up to 90 percent of our communication is nonverbal. Be sure that the nonverbal messages you send clearly communicate to the other person that you value them and that they are important to you. And watch the messages they send to you. If the messages are negative, then do everything you can to turn them into positives.