What’s in It for

You can prepare your request in great detail but fail to consider benefits for the other party. Ignoring their interests creates unnecessary obstacles. You waste time and energy in making your request and arguing for your position. People are less willing to listen to others who haven’t acknowledged their needs or realized their limitations.

Keep in mind that everyone is concentrating on his or her own interests. Everyone. Have you heard of WII-FM, or “What’s in it—for me?” Instead of concentrating on your own needs, train yourself to revise your request to consider the needs of others. Ask yourself WII–FT, “What’s in it—for them?” Realize the limits the other side may face. No matter how persuasive or likeable you are, ...

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