Negotiations: the Batna

1321 Words Mar 4th, 2013 6 Pages
BATNA - Best Alternative

Having available options during a negotiation is a good alternative which empowers you with the confidence to either reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, or walk away to a better alternative.

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket." It's an old saying which has stood the test of time. Some of you urbanites, sitting in your cubicles, may be scratching your heads and wondering, 'What in the name of Hades does this mean?' Meanwhile, back out there in the countryside, a ruddy faced farmer, is likely rolling his eyes and patiently explaining, that should you trip on the way back to the kitchen, eggs are no longer on the breakfast menu.
To a negotiator, this wise old proverb illustrates that if you bring
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First, you have to dissect both your position and your interests. Then, look at the sum of these parts relative to all the alternative options available. Pick the best option. Finally, do the reverse from your counterparts perspective. A well prepared negotiator looks at the whole picture.
Some of the most crucial factors which should be considered include;
• The cost - Ask yourself how much it will cost to make the deal relative to the cost of your best alternative. Cost estimation may entail both the short term and the long term. It boils down to figuring out which of your options is the most affordable.
• Feasibility - Which option is the most feasible? Which one can you realistically apply over all the rest of your available options?
• Impact - Which of your options will have the most immediate positive influence on your current state of affairs?
• Consequences - What do you think or estimate will happen as you consider each option as a possible solution?
Mine Is Not Necessarily Bigger Than Yours!
Is that your ego showing? Put that thing away right now! After all the work you put into estimating your BATNA, you might be feeling pretty smug. Studies have clearly shown that it is an all 'too human' tendency to overestimate the strength of one's own BATNA, while underestimating the strength of your counterpart's.
The underlying danger occurs at the point when one party reveals an over-estimated BATNA too early in the talks. Having put all

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