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There’s always that person in your life you admire from afar--the funny but intelligent co-worker, the admirable boss with a kick-ass routine, or even that friend of yours who can get just about anyone in your office to smile (even on a bad day).

Well, here’s the big secret you’ve probably never thought to tell yourself: That could be you, too. Seriously, being well-liked by others doesn’t involve casting a spell or engineering a great illusion. Gaining respect at work, or making lots of friends, or acting as a great leader isn’t only for some special people. It’s a skill that just about anyone can pick up--and pretty quickly, in fact.

So how do you become “one of them?” These 12 behaviors of likable individuals will change your whole perspective:

  1. Likable people aren’t afraid to ask questions, such as “How can I help” or “What do you think?”
  2. Likable people are inclusive; no matter where they are or what they’re doing, they find a way to include others who seem a bit out of place or could use a friend.
  3. Likable people know when, and when not, to talk during meetings--especially when they are talking solely for the sake of hearing their own voice.
  4. Likable people help out newbies, even new bosses who are still adjusting to being the head honcho.
  5. Likable people apply their seemingly unrelated life skills to work.
  6. Likable people know just what to say at the right time (the most important phrase being “Thank you!”).
  7. Likable people do little acts of kindness every day--all of which are super easy to work into your routine.
  8. Likable people are emotionally intelligent--which means they’re not only aware of their own emotions, but sensitive to other people’s as well.
  9. Likable people have better things to say than “Don’t worry” when another person is upset.
  10. Likable people know how to politely shut down negative people.
  11. Likable people also know how to give criticism without sounding condescending.
  12. Finally, likable people know when it’s appropriate to be the “cool guy,” and when to be a strong leader.

What else do likable people do? Tell me on Twitter!