The most listened-to radio station in the world is WIIFM, which stands for “What’s in it for me?” Some people throw this question like a trump card: answer with enough for me and you win my cooperation, but if I find your answer insufficient I may ignore you and your request completely.
I’m tired of this question being used so often and with such depressing power. Here’s why: Small children live for individual attention and immediate gratification: “Give me,” “I want,” “It’s mine.” But we’re not little kids anymore, and “it’s all for me” is a pretty narrow place from which to participate in the world.
When you make the shift from “me” to “we,” as in “What’s in it for us?,” other people become as important to you as you. His frustration counts as much as yours, so you listen more carefully and offer better help. Her needs make a difference in your life, so you pay more attention and do a better job.
When you make the shift from “me” to “we,” other people feel taken care of, appreciated and understood. They feel good, and you feel better, too.
A colleague’s good mood brightens up your own. Your customer’s satisfaction leads to your success. You achieve your goals by helping others reach theirs. “What’s in it for you” is fulfilled by creating what’s in it for them. Business is like that. Life is, too.