Your BATNA is your „best alternative to a negotiated agreement“. Expect your negotiating partner to have one who starts trading, and you should. Below is a good example of BATNA trading, which deals with how to use your options away from the trading table and the risks associated with such a trading strategy. . Read More Lawrence Susskind (Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) „Win-win“ has become a popular term in the field of negotiations, but many people have misconceptions about what this actually means. In this blog post, Professor Lawrence Susskind, a member of THE PON Executive Committee, makes it clear that a „win-win“ negotiation is coming to fruition. Read More One of the most common questions about negotiation strategy and an area of negotiation research that relies heavily on real-world negotiating examples is how negotiators identify their BAGNA or the best alternative to a negotiated agreement, and even better, how do they identify their counterpart`s BAGNA? Consider the saga of a company that . BATNA is often perceived by negotiators not as a safety net, but as a lever in negotiations. While a negotiator`s alternative options should theoretically be easy to evaluate, the effort to understand which alternative a party`s BATNA represents is often not invested. Options must be up-to-date and actionable to be useful,[Third-party source required] However, without time investment, options that fail any of these criteria are often included.  Most managers overestimate their BATNA while investing too little time in researching their real options. [Third-party source required] This can lead to bad or wrong decisions and negotiations. Negotiators should also be aware of the other negotiator`s BATNA and determine how it compares to what they offer. [Page needed] As the famous story „The Gift of Kings“ shows, the best outcome in negotiated agreements is sometimes a lose-lose situation for both parties. . Read more What is BATNA? Negotiations in which each counterparty has a better alternative to a negotiated agreement are scenarios in which the incentive to cooperate must exceed the value of alternatives outside the negotiating table. . Read more The table below illustrates each party`s best alternative to a negotiated deal (seller and buyer): Older and respected soprano, Sally hasn`t had a lead role in two years. However, when another soprano falls ill, the Lyric Opera is eager to hire Sally. But at what cost? Sally Soprano is one of the best-known role-playing simulations from the Negotiation Program`s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC). And it`s a classic forever. The BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) concept, popularized by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton in their book Getting to Yes (Penguin Books, second edition, 1991), has been spread around the world and has undoubtedly helped thousands of people settle for nothing less than they want in negotiations. If you have identified your BATNA, . Read more Fisher and Ury offer a job search as a basic example of how to determine a BATNA.
If you don`t receive an attractive job offer from Company X by the end of the month, what will you do? Inventing options is the first step in determining your BATNA. Should you take another job? Are you looking for another city? Back to school? If the offer you`re waiting for is in New York, but you`ve also considered Denver, try turning that other interest into a job offer there too. With a job offer on the table in Denver, you`ll be better equipped to evaluate New York`s offer when it`s made. Finally, you need to choose your best alternative option in case you don`t reach an agreement with the New York-based company. Which of your realistic options would you really want to pursue if you didn`t get the job offer in New York? Third parties can help the parties to the dispute accurately assess their BATNA through reality testing and costing. In reality, the third party helps to clarify and justify each party`s alternatives to the agreement. He/she can do this by asking tough questions about the claimed BATNA: „How could you do this? What would be the result? What would the other party do? How do you know? Or the third party simply adds new information to the discussion. This shows that one party`s assessment of the batna is probably wrong. Costing is a more general approach to the same process. This is a systematic effort to determine the costs and benefits of all options. In this way, the parties will understand all their alternatives. If this is done together and the parties agree on the assessment, it provides a solid basis for finding a negotiated solution that is better than the alternatives of both parties.
But if the parties fail to reach such an agreement, negotiations will fail and both sides will continue their BATNA instead of a negotiating outcome. Negotiation skills or negotiation strategy? It`s a bit of both – identifying a negotiator`s BATNA is a necessary skill to develop the best strategies that can be used at the negotiating table. Here`s a classic illustration of the BATNA trading ability concept: This trading path seems typical: you look at the company`s final offer and then look at your alternative options to see if you can do better elsewhere. But what if knowing your alternatives from the start could increase that company`s final offering? How could knowing your other options initially make you a stronger competitor in the initial negotiation? A BATNA is not prepackaged. A BATNA is the result of a two-stage planning and preparation process. First of all, it is worth determining all the available alternatives. Then choose your most attractive and feasible alternative. Then, realistically evaluate the other negotiator`s alternatives. Both steps are equally important. Find out which best alternative is the strongest and most exploitable.
It is a variant of the old adage „bird in hand“. If you already have a goose with golden eggs, your trading partner needs to offer even better terms so you can say yes. .