Chapter 4

Negotiating techniques: BATNA

BATNA stands for ‘best alternative to a negotiated agreement’. Whenever you negotiate with another party, there is a chance that the negotiation may break down and that you will have to fall back on some alternative course of action. Your BATNA is this alternative course of action. Being clear on what it is, and what is the other party’s BATNA, is crucial to effective negotiation.

When to use it

  • To get a better deal for yourself whenever you negotiate anything – for example, a pay rise or buying a house.
  • To help your firm handle complex negotiations – for example, acquiring another firm or resolving a dispute with a labour union.


People have been negotiating with one another since civilisation ...

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