BATNA stands for "best alternative to no agreement." This term was introduced by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton in the book, Getting to Yes. When a person goes into a negotiation knowing what their BATNA is, it can limit his or her course of action during the negotiation.
Developing a BATNA
It is highly recommended that people develop a BATNA before engaging in a negotiation. Without taking the time to develop a BATNA, you will likely be unaware of what would happen if the negotiation fails. As a result, you may feel a strong inner pressure to reach an agreement, even if it is not in your best interests. Alternatively, you may feel overly optimistic about the proposed agreements. Your optimism may cloud your view of costs associated with the agreements.
There are seven basic steps to developing a BATNA:
- List what you will do if you fail to reach an agreement
- Convert the most promising options into practical choices
- Select the single best option (that becomes your BATNA)
- Compare your BATNA to all proposals
- If an offer is better than your BATNA, consider improving or accepting it
- If an offer is worse than your BATNA, consider rejecting it
- If the other party will not improve their offer, consider exercising your BATNA
One of the determinants of your power in a negotiation is the attractiveness of your BATNA as compared to the proposals made during the discussions.
- The more attractive your BATNA is, compared with the proposals you receive, the more power you have in the negotiation.
- The less attractive your BATNA is compared with the proposals, the less power you have in the negotiation.
Since there is a direct relationship between negotiating power and a good BATNA, it is important to improve your BATNA whenever possible.
Copyright © 2008 MindEdge
Click a star to rate this: