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Always know your BATNA

BATNA: Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement

We negotiate in order to produce better results than we would get if we didn’t negotiate. So, before conducting a negotiation, you need to know your objectives (I talked about setting objectives in another skill tip) and the alternative to your bottom line objective (BATNA). 

BATNA is your best alternative should the negotiation fail, your plan B, what you will walk away to if the outcome of the negotiation has a lower value than your bottom line objective.
Whether you should or should not agree to something in a negotiation depends entirely upon the attractiveness to you of your best available alternative; BATNA.

Before sitting down at the negotiating table:

  • Consider the other side’s BATNA
  • Strengthen your own BATNA to increase your power and confidence in the negotiation