"Don't put all your eggs in one basket."
To a negotiator, this wise old proverb illustrates that if you bring only a single proposal to the table, you may likely end up with a rotten deal, or no deal at all. You need to have an alternative plan waiting in the wings. BATNA is an acronym described by Roger Fisher and William Ury which means Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. It is the alternative action that will be taken when your proposed agreement with another party results in an unsatisfactory agreement or when an agreement fails to materialize. If the result of your current negotiation only offers a value that is less than your BATNA, there is no point in proceeding with the negotiation, and one should use their best available alternative option instead. Prior to the start of negotiations, each party should have ascertained their own individual BATNA When developing a BATNA, a negotiator should:
* Brainstorm a list of alternatives that could be considered if the negotiation failed to deliver a favourable agreement: * Select the most promising alternatives and develop them into practical and attainable alternatives: and * Identify the most beneficial alternative to be kept in reserve as a fall-back during the negotiation. A BATNA does not concern what should be achieved, but what the course of action should be if an agreement is not reached within a certain time. The question as to whether a BATNA should be disclosed to the other party depends on the strength (attractiveness) of the BATNA. If a negotiator has a strong BATNA, it may be beneficial to reveal it, as this would prevent the other party from acting as if a good alternative does not exist. Where a party has a weak BATNA, non-disclosure may be the preferred approach, as this may prove to be a bonus that should not be squandered through disclosure. The more a negotiator knows about the alternatives available to the other party, the better that negotiator is able to prepare...
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