Negotiations are more than the definition of a number of alternatives. Understanding the nuances of negotiation tactics can help improve professional relationships by resolving difficult disputes. Understanding negotiations can also help you assess personal strengths and weaknesses in the face of conflict and learn how to manage your negotiating tendencies. Finally, studying some people`s usual and potentially manipulative negotiation tactics can help negotiators neutralize their effects. You should try to increase your flexibility. It`s important to keep in mind that your approach and alternatives should be able to bend in the wind and weather an unexpected storm. A negotiator can start talks with a preconceived idea of the best possible solutions available to both parties. However, negotiators should not be bound by these prejudices. Here is a process developed by Harvard Law School to develop the best alternative to a negotiated agreement: The best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) is how a party to the negotiations will adopt if the talks fail and no agreement can be reached.
Negotiators Roger Fisher and William Ury marked the term BATNA in their 1981 bestseller ”Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.” A party`s BATNA refers to what a party can rely on if a negotiation proves unsuccessful. For example, Company A is offering a $20 million takeover offer to Company B. However, Company B estimates that they are worth 30 million $US in valuation. Company B quickly refused the offer. However, what Company B did not take into account was the increasing competition in the sector and stricter rules that will limit growth in the coming years and reduce valuation. If B had taken the time to incorporate these factors into the current assessment and had clearly gone through BATNA`s four stages, including the #2, to assess the alternative of being able to travel in a challenging business environment, management could have been persuaded to accept it. The ability to negotiate or the negotiation strategy? It`s a bit of both — identifying a negotiator`s BATNA is a necessary ability to develop the best strategies that can be used at the negotiating table. The graph below illustrates each party`s best alternative to a negotiated agreement (seller and buyer): attractive alternatives are needed to develop a strong BATNA.
In the Bestseller Getting to YES: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, the authors make three suggestions on how to achieve this: it is simply not a good practice to have feasible alternatives when entering a negotiation. An attractive, feasible alternative option allows you to confidently reach a mutually beneficial agreement. It also allows you to leave with a satisfactory alternative. Having good options available before starting negotiations is the best practice. You will feel able and confident, either to reach an agreement satisfactory for both parties or to go to your best alternative. A strong BATNA can also help a party understand that it has an attractive alternative to the deal and that it can move away from a tempting offer. However, care should be taken to ensure that transactions are valued accurately, taking into account all considerations such as relational value, the present value of money and the likelihood that the other party will be up to its side of the business. . .