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Tune in to Radio WIIFM

By Asif Rehmani
Updated January 26, 2022

Are you familiar with Radio WIIFM?

The fact is that Radio Station WIIFM (What's In It For Me) is playing in all of our minds all the time. This radio station is what we all listen to as we go about our days making choices and decisions.

The programming for this radio station is more or less unique to each of us. Of course, there is some overlap in the programming for what we are hearing and what others hear who share some similarities with us, but at the end of the day, no one's Radio WIIFM station is identical to anyone else's.

Tuning into other Radio WIIFM stations

We all have this human desire to be understood. But I firmly believe that before you can expect to be understood, you have to understand the perspective of others first.

Understanding the perspective of others involves tuning into their unique Radio WIIFM frequency. Once you are tuned in, you will have a captive audience.

If you are unable to tune into the Radio WIIFM frequency of others, chances are very high that they will tune you out.

This works equally well for individuals as well as crowds of people. The difference is that when you are trying to tune into a crowd of people, you have to tune into the shared part of the programming of their radio stations. 

Discovering the shared part of the programming means finding out what it is that most of them care about, or better yet what are they passionate about. Tune into that emotion, that feeling and then broadcast your message at that frequency.

The key to tuning into the Radio WIIFM frequency

I believe that empathy is the key to tuning in to other people's radio WIIFM frequencies.

This works equally well in professional as well as personal lives.

Empathy helps us understand others. And when we understand them, it opens their ears, hearts and minds to help them understand our perspective better as well.

Exhibiting empathy in professional life is unfortunately an underrated skill. If we openly exhibited this skill with colleagues and subordinates to truly understand their perspectives first, before imposing our own directives, it would make it so much easier for them to understand our perspective in return.

Empathy at work

In my work, I'm knee deep into finding better ways to help leaders of organizations around the world support their employees to make better use of their enterprise application investments. I see time and time again trainers and admins trying to throw training at their users not realizing that much of it is not really sticking in their users' minds.

If we could instead empathize with our colleagues, we would understand that what they're really looking for are answers.

They are not necessarily looking to get trained. They're looking to be supported at their moment of need, preferably in context of their own environment and in the flow of their work.

Understanding this fact and empathizing with our users can help us design more impactful solutions for them. Solutions that truly help them in their day-to-day job instead of adding additional work - which is what traditional training feels like to most users... just something they have to do to stay compliant.

Introducing empathy in our work environment will help us tune in to the radio WIIFM frequencies of our end users. Once we are in sync with our users, I have no doubt it will automatically help with increase in user adoption of our applications and processes while decreasing our support burden.

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