The Most Overused Negotiating Tactic Is Threatening to Walk Away

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In a piece for the Harvard Business Review, Desautels course lecturer Jay A Hewlin writes that, though negotiation experts the world over consider the “walk away” (technically, “Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement” or BATNA) tactic to be an important tool, it’s not the best approach for every situation.

A negotiator has to bear in mind the relative strength of his or her own position compared to that of the other side. The true usefulness of BATNA lies in determining the limits of what constitutes an acceptable outcome, rather than holding it like a stick in a negotiation.

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