1,5 Minutes on Influence: Negotiation and Getting What You Want

Happy 1,5 Minutes on Influence!

Here is your weekly dose of applying the psychology of influence
to positively impact choices and behaviours.

Looking forward to sharing insights with you!

Warm regards,



I want to show you how our work for a Belgian town, negotiating with a German chemical company, is a prime example of how communication, based on the psychology of influence, can lead to impactful outcomes.

The situation:
This chemical company sent his heavy trucks right through the town centre. The town had been trying for 10 years to get them to use a different road around the city instead. The company’s CEO always dismissed the request using technical procedures. That’s when we came in:

We managed a breakthrough by applying 4 influence principles that you can also start using in negotiations:

1. We showed the real problem:
We used simple, emotional words and metaphors,
To surpass the technicalities,
Making the CEO feel the problem and the urgency.

“Whenever a truck passes through our city centre, it leaves parents terrified you’ll hit their children, and it causes our school windows to tremble as you pass by, disturbing the children’s concentration.”

2. We changed the focus:
Instead of arguing over minor details,
We talked about how the town and the company,
Could live and work together peacefully.
We explained it’s essential for everyone,
Including their workers and their families who live in the city,
To have a safe place to live without big trucks everywhere.

3. We made the choice clear:
We told the company they could keep fighting in court,
Or help the community and be seen as heroes.
This choice made them think about what’s important:
Looking good by helping out or caring about their own business.

But what was the killer principle?

4. We asked a different question:
That shifted the perspective from focusing solely on rerouting a road,
To considering a personal, positive impact on the community,
Encouraging the CEO to see the value,
Of him contributing to the town’s welfare.

“Do you want to be known only as a German factory CEO, or do you want to be remembered as a respected leader who enriches the community?”

The result:
The town and the company started working together,
And the CEO even asked if he could co-host,
The press conference launching the new road.

Never underestimate the power of personal and emotional jobs-to-be-done and understanding how the psychology of influence works!

Further learning:
Contact us if you want us to train your team with a one-day workshop in framing. We can help you find the words and frames to positively change minds or reputations, both in Dutch and English.


As we kind of surpassed our one-minute time slot. Here just a link to a video we think you should see: negotiation 101 by a kid

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Until next week,

Astrid Groenewegen

Co-Founder of SUE | Behavioural Design Academy

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