In the negotiating world it is becoming more and more common to encounter unequal parties. The number of big corporations and big “business men” is growing by the day, as is their power, connections and “powerful weapons” which creates an unequal bargain between the parties. Does this mean that little companies and individuals don’t stand a chance at a fair negotiation? Not at all! We all have “assets” that can be used to our advantage as long as we know how.
There are essentially two objectives that can help us take action: “first, to protect you against making an agreement you should reject and second, to help you make the most of the assets you do have so that the agreement you reach will satisfy your interests as well as possible” . Protecting yourself
Protecting yourself sometimes becomes a difficult task when you are on the opposite side from the “power”. You get become “panicky” or too accommodating, forgetting that you have something the other party wants, assets. A good way to overcome these issues is to stipulate a bottom line – what you consider the worst acceptable outcome. This is a good tool to resist pressure, especially if you have someone on your side to help reinforce that limit. On the counter side, this “help” can be costly (when it involves brokers, agents…) and, too rigid, limiting our imagination and creativity to invent other solutions that could better respond to both parties’ intentions. To overcome this “incapacitation” and to make the most of the whole negotiation process, you should know your BATNA – Best Alternative To a Negotiation Agreement. By know your BATNA (a measurement tool) that not only gives you better standards but is also more flexible then bottom line solution, it allows you to use imagination and invent other solutions that better satisfy our interests, but it may also be to uncertain, not giving you an actual limit.
Conclusion, both bottom line and BATNA aren’t good enough for every...