BATNA, what is BATNA mean?

Continuing on from our discussion yesterday on Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury, there is an additional topic they covered.  The talk about BATNA or Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.  We have to be prepared for situations where the negotiations break down or the other side is much more powerful.  This comes under the heading of doing your homework before you may begin a negotiation or approaching a situation where you may get an offer.  You need to think through scenarios and protect yourself.  We have all been blind sided by changes in our job or life, sometimes you have to make a quick agreement.  That is why knowing your BATNA can be helpful especially when you might be representing multiple parties.

Once you have figured out your side’s BATNA it can be helpful to try and consider the other side.  What items would be in there BATNA?  Try to identify their key concerns, this can help you understand what items may trigger them to an agreement.  Doing this in prepartion can go well once you have heard from the other side and compare them.  How well do you understand the other side?  Do you need to research them more or develop a better relationship?

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