Thinking through both BATNAs helps us determine how much leverage we have in a negotiation.
If the alternative to a negotiated agreement is not good, you may feel that you have little leverage. And you may be completely wrong.
What will the other party do when they cannot reach an agreement with you? If their alternative is not good either, the leverage balances out to some extent.
For example, picture a job seeker who has been out of work for a while.Bills are piling up, unemployment benefits are running out and s/he has had no job offers. Finding a promising job, this person may feel that they have little or no leverage in a salary negotiation.
On the other side, you have an employer with a position that has been open for months. Deadlines are slipping, customers are angry, and people are working overtime. A job seeker comes along and has the right credentials for the job. The employer may feel that they have little leverage if the job seeker demands a higher salary.
Consider both sides’ BATNAs and you will be better prepared to negotiate.
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