The PR BlogMedia & PsychologyPersuasion & InfluenceThe Value Triangle: How To Manage Expectations

The Value Triangle: How To Manage Expectations

The power of asking for priorities.

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Instagram)

The value triangle is a script for managing expectations.

We all find ourselves in situations where we must deliver value to someone else. You could be facing your boss, your client, or your coworker.

It’s challenging, but the conversation won’t be any more manageable if you postpone it until after the delivery.

In short: It’s essential to manage expectations.

One powerful persuasion technique is to ask for clarification in terms of priorities — using the value triangle.

Here’s how the value triangle works:

The Value Triangle

Negotiate better by using the value triangle:

If someone wants something CHEAP and FAST, they can’t ask for it to be GOOD.

If someone wants something CHEAP and GOOD, they can’t ask for it to be FAST.

If someone wants something FAST and GOOD, they can’t ask for it to be CHEAP.

Or just send this link.
You’re welcome.

Read also: The Engagement Pyramid

Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.


  1. The triangle seems infallible long term, but not so at short term. Recent graduates, and others, can be fast, competitive and cheap. For them taking a low salary is a matter of limited experience or ignoring the market value of their talents and skills. However, employees that deliver a fast, competitive and cheap job tend to leave quickly. Employees with long term personal goals, or non-for-profit goals, may deliver a fast and competitively job at low cost. In more restrictive societies and cultures fast, competitive and cheap employees may stay a bit longer. Sometimes people from such cultures move to more progressive societies. Until they realize their freedom they leave.


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