What is BATNA?

Learn about BATNA and its crucial role in negotiations. Discover examples, case studies, and statistics on how having a strong BATNA can give you an advantage in reaching favorable agreements.


Before we dive into what BATNA is, let’s first understand its importance in negotiations. BATNA stands for Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. It refers to the course of action that will be taken by a party if the current negotiations fail and an agreement cannot be reached.

Importance of BATNA

Having a strong BATNA is crucial in negotiations as it gives you leverage and power. It allows you to negotiate from a position of strength and confidence, knowing that you have an alternative option if the current deal doesn’t work out.

Examples of BATNA

  • If you are negotiating a job offer with a company, your BATNA could be another job offer from a different company.
  • If you are buying a car and the seller is not willing to lower the price, your BATNA could be to walk away and look for a similar car elsewhere.
  • If you are negotiating a contract with a supplier, your BATNA could be to find another supplier who offers better terms.

Case Studies

One famous example of BATNA in action is when Richard Branson negotiated with British Airways to settle a libel lawsuit. Branson’s BATNA was to take the case to court, which would have been damaging to both parties. This strong BATNA helped him negotiate a favorable settlement with British Airways.

Statistics on BATNA

A study by the Harvard Program on Negotiation found that negotiators who have identified and developed their BATNA are more likely to reach successful agreements compared to those who have not. Having a strong BATNA increases the likelihood of achieving a favorable outcome in negotiations.


In conclusion, BATNA is a powerful tool in negotiations that can give you an edge and increase your chances of reaching a successful agreement. By understanding and developing your BATNA, you can negotiate from a position of strength and achieve the best possible outcome.

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