When I first heard the term BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement), I thought to myself, “No way! That’s a polite way of being okay with failure.” But I soon found that, regardless of where I turned to research negotiation strategies and tactics, the concept came up. The more I read about it and the more I let the theory marinate, the more practical applications I found for it.
The term BATNA was originally coined by Roger Fisher and Wiliam Ury in their book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. The method basically involves utilizing your assets to develop a position that will keep you from accepting something less than what you want, while not closing the door to getting more than you expect. In essence, it takes the place of what most people refer to as the “bottom line.” The book even gives an example involving a negotiation with an insurance adjuster!