How to convince emotionally (not rationally)

It is one of the most difficult things to find emotional arguments where facts have become irrelevant and useless.

Recently, a conversation with one of Weagree’s long-standing and loyal end-user unfolded that many of his colleagues are still receptive to the idea of using Weagree. For them, contract automation did not save any time…

Emotionally measured

…they believe.

The facts are different. Their belief is purely emotional: many users think that picking last week’s contract and updating it for the current deal is quicker than answering a Q&A. It is not true:

  1. they forget the time for initiating e-signing, and disregard the time for registering the contract in a CLM (or have someone else do that job or do not manage the contract for any deadline, right or obligation),
  2. stopwatch (evidence that automation saves time leaves no doubts).

Contract automation change management Diagnostic Errors 1Your emotion is like an elephant: it will not move unless it is motivated. No stopwatch helps unmotivated people. Forgotten or disregarded tasks are for ‘later’ (“mañana”).

Rationally: the facts

The stopwatch tells the opposite of the mind: answering a Q&A clearly takes less time. BASF’s contracting team measures time and productivity accurately. They know that the productivity improvements also minimise their response time:

  • if you need to reserve some time for creating a contract, the response time is one or two days,
  • if contract creation takes minutes, response time is zero (0) to six hours (during the meeting or in between meetings that day).

Response time improvements have other impressive effects and the truth for BASF: if you complete contracts (much) faster, internal customers will bring more work. And the work becomes more exciting.

Answering a Q&A feels time-consuming. But modifying last week’s sample takes more time: unconsciously, exactly the same ‘questions’ must be ‘answered’! Moreover, the user must also be more vigilant: not leave last week’s particularities in this contract.

If an automated contract takes 100 Q&A questions to be answered, then apparently there are 100 ‘decision points’ to be addressed – this does not change if you take last week’s sample and clean it up. *


Contract automation change management Rider Errors 1

Convincing emotionally, not rationally

What matters here is that a user who is emotionally geared towards manual work should be convinced to change. They should be convinced emotionally, not with rational arguments. Rational arguments make no sense here.

In convincing emotionally, there are two aspects, one is rational (…) and the other relates to emotions:

  • Rational: the Weagree-user should not lose their job as a reward for contract automation and not be made redundant afterwards (probably the deepest fear for automating tasks). Leadership must point at a more exciting work perspective. Convincingly.
  • Emotional: motivate your elephant.


Weagree contract automation change management icon 1

Motivate the elephant: emotionally

Motivating your elephant has three aspects:

  • Find the feeling: leadership should engage, engage, and engage everyone to join the automation effort.
  • Shrink the change steps: make sure that the first steps and the second steps etc. are small. For example, the first automated contract creation may take the time it would otherwise take when reviewing a contract drafted by the other party.
  • Let your people grow: you should not have a team with a so-called fixed mindset. Your team members should have a growth mindset (”we can do this”).

How it may work for you and your team is something to find out. It requires leadership, a vision, and an eye for finding the bright spots (and shining a spotlight on the small signs of success: rewards for those who book results).

At Weagree, we have adopted a framework of three dimensions, each consisting of three aspects.

*Note that in Weagree, there are several features to speed up or shortcut a Q&A:

  • you can copy your last week’s questionnaire and replace the other party’s details (it’s the first Q&A-question).
  • Q&A questions can be filtered, for example based on relevance or level of detail.

You can talk to us if you would like to hear more about the framework.

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