This may be a HARD one for entrepreneurs and people of faith – to see alternatives – but it is necessary in the negotiation process.
We are now working our way to learning one of the fundamental concepts of negotiation, which is BATNA.
BATNA stands for “Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement,” and no good negotiator begins the negotiation process without knowing his BATNA, which requires exploring alternatives.
The critical question is, “If I am not able to negotiate the agreement I planned, what is my alternative?”
To many people, identifying alternatives means having a lack of faith in the one thing you want, but what it really means is, “What are the possible alternative routes to the thing I want?”
I have a friend who loves to explore. Anytime there is an opportunity to get on a lake and kayak, Jet Ski, etc. to the other side of the lake to explore, she will. Sometimes we have gone places where she has requested a Jet Ski so she could go to the other side of the lake, only to find there were no Jet Skis available. Since her objective is not the Jet Ski but to get to the other side of the lake, her next question is about the other available modes of transportation to get to the other side of the lake. She explores alternatives.
Her preference was the Jet Ski, but her objective was getting to the other side of the lake.
This may seem simple, but if we don’t consider alternatives, it will be difficult to negotiate effectively. We will not be able to develop our BATNA (which we will begin developing the rubric for within the next few tips).
Sometimes we are told as entrepreneurs and people of faith that to think of anything other than what we are asking for shows weakness. But it isn’t. Likewise, not being able to identify alternatives has caused many failures in negotiation.
“Not being able to identify alternatives has caused many failures in negotiation.”
– Barbara M. Littles (Click to tweet)
The good news is you can train yourself to see alternatives.
The place to start is to ask the critical question: “If I am not able to negotiate the agreement I planned, what is my alternative?”
It’s amazing how our mind searches for answers to problems when we ask questions. Questions serve as the open door to our mind’s exploration. Open the doors of your mind and begin to consider alternatives that will get you to the thing you “really, really want.”
Negotiation or the Exit Door
Failure to explore options can cause us to make a premature decision about our career, business, or life because when we haven’t developed alternatives, we automatically look for an exit door.
Sometimes it is not time to exit; it is time to negotiate.
For more Negotiation Tips – click here.
CALL TO ACTION:
This week, begin to explore alternatives.
When you go to your favorite restaurant with a specific dish in mind because it fits your dietary needs and you find it is no longer available, think of another dish or begin to construct another dish that has the same or similar caloric content instead of pouting or leaving the restaurant. You are now using your energy to ask questions to explore alternatives.
What do you “really, really want?” Do you remember that question? (Tip #4). If what you really want is to cut calories, that means there are other dishes that fit within the caloric count other than the one you initially had in mind.
Alternatives are everywhere. Be intentional about exploring at least two this week.