The magic question that can help you everyday.
I was in a business course when I first heard this magical phrase. The instructor came in with a question that was meant to stump us all. “What is everyone’s favorite radio station?” he asked. Regardless of our answers, they were all wrong. The right answer was “WII FM”; we all had puzzled looks on our faces. WII FM is not a real station, it is an acronym for the phrase “What’s in it for me?”
The rhetorical question is meant to be a very useful business tool, especially in marketing, advertising and negotiation, where you try to put yourself in the shoes of your consumers, customers or stakeholders to figure out how to sell your ideas/products to them. Why would someone go to your website? Why would anyone buy your product? Or even hear you speak? You will find many articles illustrating how this tool can be used in a business context, but I think it could be equally expedient if we use in our personal lives.
The phrase itself could be used for two different means in your personal life; the first one is as a mantra for looking out after yourself. It can become a beacon to guide you towards the path to your goals. Asking yourself this question before you make any decision can keep you well-oriented and holds your priorities always in focus.
Some might think that this phrase is a selfish one. However in reality any decision that involves you, if your priorities or end game is not clear to you, are more likely to being the wrong choice. Asking yourself “What’s in it for me?” before you make a decision can put your vision that you have set for yourself in prospective. “Should I go with my friends to the mall? What’s really in it for me?”
Even when you are volunteering, you should always ask yourself the question. Because even in volunteering you’re getting plenty in return: new skills, a sense of accomplishment, among many other things. It doesn’t hurt that it looks great on your resume too.
The second way this phrase could be used is when it’s a way to empathize with your family, friends and people in general. Most of us do it when we try to buy a birthday gift to a relative; we put ourselves in their shoes trying to figure what to get them. We also do it when we find ourselves stuck with a family member that we do not know that well, and we seem to be grasping at straws trying to make the conversation going.
If you use “WII FM” in your life everyday, you can easily grab the attention of anyone you talk to, as it’s an amazing communication tool. People will listen if you tell them or show them what’s in it for them. A motivator, an incentive for them to keep hearing you and get interested in what you’re saying.
Asking the question will force you to get to know the other person, in order to be able to get an answer. WII FM also makes it very easy to create a win-win situation, the better you understand the person you are talking to the easier it gets to find a common ground.
Especially with family and friends. We often take for granted these close relationships that we have. We think we know everything there is about these close people around us. We often forget that every day your family and friends come across new experiences, and go through different emotions. Minor or major events can stir changes within a person.
“What’s in it for me?” is by far one of the best devices that helps me in every situation. And do not think that all of this empathizing will get you nothing in return. People often will appreciate your efforts that you’re putting and this WII FM will be effortlessly reciprocated.