[Strategy] WATNA and BATNA

A negotiated agreement is the endpoint of many crucial conversations.

There are always alternatives—worst and best for each party—to getting to that endpoint. The alternatives are detours a negotiation can take that allow parties to migrate away from the endpoint.

If the endpoint of agreement isn’t the point of a conversation, then maybe being satisfied with the best (if we “win”) or the worst (if we “lose”) is good enough.

There are two concerns with this point of view though:

  • Even though parties can acknowledge with their mouths that the world of negotiated conversations exists in gray areas, very few lived actions following the conversation back that up. Plus, it’s not enough to just be good enough. Now, the challenge is to either be the best or to suck.
  • Going beyond getting the BATNA or the WATNA (you know, “agreeing to disagree”) there’s a concern as one party seeks to emotionally, or psychologically manipulate, the other party to a previously staked out “truth” through the misuse of persuasive power.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
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Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
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Website: http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com

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