WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get)


Wikipedia indicates that “WYSIWYG (pronounced /ˈwɪziwɪɡ/[1] WIZ-ee-wig) is an acronym for what you see is what you get.” In other words, what is directly in front of you should form the whole and complete picture. As shoppers, we can see and touch and feel a gallon of milk and never once question whether that gallon of milk sitting on a shelf in the refrigerated section of a grocery store is, in fact, a gallon of milk. We can choose to take it off the shelf, place it in our carts and take it home with us, because we never have to question the validity of a gallon of milk. We can do this because we know what a gallon of milk should look like, simply, because it’s WYSIWYG.

WYSIWIG has been one of my favorite acronyms to use in business too. I can walk a trade show for hours, touching and feeling products, trying to get a sense of how they work, how they’re made and how they will withstand certain conditions, and rely on that information coupled with my knowledge, to effectively communicate a product’s benefits to my customer. Generally, in my business, if you can see it and touch and feel it, like that gallon of milk; it too is WYSIWIG.

The concept of WYSIWIG is so simple, that people inadvertently apply the notion to other people. Applying WYSIWIG too soon is why people find themselves walking around ungratified in their relationships. Until only recently, I used to mechanically trust people. I thought most people were a fairly open book, once you opened the cover and studied them a bit. I stupidly believed that everyone could be figured out, if only I spent a little time getting to know them. I would apply my analytic, intuitive, and highly trusting natures, and within a short period, be able to size someone up and decide whether I’d invite them into my circle. Just like that, and sometimes almost overnight, POOF! With me, a person could go from complete stranger, to trusted friend that easily, because I was ready to make that transition and leap of faith, purely based upon what I saw in them. This mentality has caused me some pain in life.

I realize now that has all been an unhealthy way to view people and probably even a dangerous way to live. People can’t be sized-up over a relatively short period. You have to know them for who they are, and to do that, you have to look beyond those first and second and third layers, and sometimes this takes a while. Like an onion, you have to peel back the layers until you really come to know a person for who they are, and I suggest you do this before you call a person “friend”, or date someone exclusively, or get married, or take that job, or give a person the keys to your office and the passwords to all your records. I can tell you that in my lifetime, I’ve met many people who I have inadvertently trusted through both an active professional and personal life. I can also tell you another thing I know, unequivocally, for sure now; if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it isn’t necessarily, a duck. It could be an actor duck that does voice-overs in sheep’s clothing.

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