BATNA

In negotiation, BATNA refers to your “best alternative to a negotiated agreement,” or the best outcome you can expect if you fail to reach agreement at the bargaining table with your counterpart. An evaluation of your BATNA is critical if you are to establish the threshold at which you will reject an offer. Effective negotiators determine their BATNAs before talks begin.

When you fail to determine your alternative, you’re liable to make a costly mistake—rejecting a deal you should have accepted or accepting one you’d have been wise to reject. In negotiation, it’s important to have high aspirations and to fight hard for a good outcome. But it’s just as critical to establish a walkaway point that is firmly grounded in reality.

There are four steps to assessing your BATNA: List your alternatives; evaluate these alternatives; establish your BATNA based on these alternatives; and calculate your reservation value, which is the lowest-valued deal you are willing to accept. If the value of the deal proposed to you is lower than your reservation value, you’ll be better off rejecting the offer and pursuing your BATNA. If the final offer is higher than your reservation value, you should accept it.

One drawback to exploring your best alternative is in spending too much time and money in researching it. This can lead to a feeling of entitlement in negotiation, which may cause the negotiator to expect too much from the bargaining process.

Articles offer numerous BATNA examples and explore the concept of one’s BATNA, as well as how to effectively identify your BATNA in negotiations and how to use this knowledge effectively in any type of negotiation, whether in business, international, or personal negotiations.

See full description

BATNA Examples—and What You Can Learn from Them

Katie Shonk   •  06/24/2019   •  Filed in BATNA

batna examples

What is a BATNA in negotiation? In their bestseller Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (Penguin, 1991) described BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, as the path you’ll follow if you don’t reach agreement in your current negotiation.

Awareness of your BATNA will keep you … Read More 

Deal-Making Techniques for When You Feel Powerless

Katie Shonk   •  06/10/2019   •  Filed in BATNA

deal making techniques

In negotiation, we’re often advised that our most important source of power is our best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. If we feel powerless when making business deals, it’s often because we don’t have a strong alternative if the current deal falls apart or fails to meet our needs. Thus, the key to … Read More 

Managing Difficult Negotiators

Katie Shonk   •  06/10/2019   •  Filed in BATNA

difficult negotiators

In negotiation, we are often confronted with the task of dealing with difficult people—those who seem to prefer to set up roadblocks rather than break down walls, or who choose to take hardline stances rather than seeking common ground. If you’re skilled in BATNA negotiations, you’ll have an easier time dealing with such people. … Read More 

Negotiation Strategies for Dealing with Spoilers

Katie Shonk   •  04/01/2019   •  Filed in BATNA

batna

Amazon’s announcement on February 14 that it was backing out of a recent deal to build a major new campus in New York City was as bitter as a Valentine’s Day breakup could be. But the budding relationship between Amazon and New York didn’t have to end in acrimony and broken dreams, Harvard Business School … Read More 

Take your BATNA to the Next Level

Katie Shonk   •  02/21/2019   •  Filed in BATNA

BATNA

If your current negotiation reaches an impasse, what’s your best outside option? Most seasoned negotiators understand the value of evaluating their BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, a concept that Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton introduced in their seminal book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 1991, second … Read More 

Would you like us to inform you when new posts become available?

We hate spam as much as you do. You have our promise not to sell or share your email address — ever! Please read our privacy policy.