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What Is Your BATNA?

Reaching an Agreement

Negotiating can be tricky but you can do some ground work before starting.

In negotiation, there is a concept with the acronym “BATNA”, which means Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement.

Essentially, it is the very least you will accept from your negotiation. It is important to determine this beforehand as it is easy to get confused or get off track when you’re in the heat of the moment.

A good example would be going to purchase a car. We decide ahead of time the range we are willing to pay for a new or new to you vehicle. On the other side, the salesman knows their range in how low they are able to sell the same vehicle. If you will only go as high as $25,000 for a new vehicle, that is your BATNA. It’s not your ideal but it is something you can live with.

Perhaps you do not enjoy going to your in-laws to visit. Your partner wants you to go at least twice a week and you feel this is way too much. If you cannot ‘win’, what is the greatest number of visits you could live with? Perhaps you feel every other weekend is sufficient but preferably two visits per month. Your BATNA is every other weekend. In other words, you can live with going every other weekend at the most in order to make your partner happy.

What situations have you encountered lately where you first decided upon your BATNA?

Let me know in the comments!

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