Two key ingredients in the negotiation process are the Best Alternative to a Negotiated
Agreement (BATNA) and the Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA). BATNA is the best no- agreement alternative a party may have (Lum, 2005) and is sometimes used to move a party from a position to an interest. Watch Negotiate Value Lesson #10 — BATNA (8:08) which defines BATNA and discusses how negotiating power comes from options. ZOPA is a zone of possible agreement (Cohen, 2002, 2013). There is also the Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (WATNA), which is thought of as worst alternative in a no agreement alternative. By considering the best and worst case scenario, parties find greater benefit to continue working toward a win- win solution.
Planning and preparation help negotiation processes move in a positive and forward direction. By knowing what the best and worst case scenarios are to all parties, they are motivated to continue working toward a solution. BATNA and WATNA may change as negotiation is continued and the parties learn more about one another’s interests. Step one is the initial offer or starting point normally. Step two is usually a counter (or not).
The goal for each party is usually to be at a certain level and parties usually work toward such a goal. At some time, there is a walk away point and that is a tactic often used to move the other party (not to be confused with a bottom line point, which is usually when negotiation is over for a party).
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