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Catch Phrase – WIIFM/WIIIFM

November 5, 2009

Not a true acronym, but definitely a helpful mneumonic, WIIFM or WIIIFM if you are not using contractions, stands for “What’s in it for me” or “What is in it for me”.  Pronounced whiff em,  WIIFM/WIIIFM is an important concept to remember when dealing with your fellow human beings.  One of your jobs as Project Manager is to take everyone’s WIIFM/WIIIFM into account and see how many win-wins you can create.  The more closely aligned the goals of the organization, team or group are with those of the individuals, the less resistance you face and the more compliance you will receive.

Finding everyone’s “sweet spot” is not easy.  You are working with adults, who have a job to do.  You want them to be on the same page, singing the same song.  When you have difficulties in communicating with others, think about the WIIFM/WIIIFM and see if you are addressing the needs of the other person.  Sometimes you need to help others understand the relevance of what they are doing.  People like to be part of a bigger cause.  When their work is meaningful, it is more satisfying.

Good soft skills are frequently the difference between being a good project manager and a great project manager.  These skills require constant training and practice.

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