BATNA & WATNA: Finding and Using Negotiation Power (Part I of III)


The goal of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process is to come to a resolution together so that the parties can both agree on and avoid the eventual litigation that could arise in the dispute. However, not every mediation or negotiation ends in a settlement agreement, and the knowledge that the parties may walk away without …

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The 10 Best Negotiation Books of 2021

Most people want to get what they desire, which is where negotiating can come into play. There are countless books about negotiation out there, but which one is the best option? Learning to bargain is quite easy with the right tools. Whether it’s for business, your personal life, or something else, negotiating skills are essential. …

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The Power of Finding and Using a BATNA & WATNA (Part 3 of 3)


…Continued from Part 2: In previous articles, we’ve discussed what a BATNA and a WATNA are, the purpose of identifying a BATNA and WATNA, some possible alternatives to consider, and two analyses that parties can use to identify their BATNA and WATNA.  This article will discuss the strategies that a mediator may use to help …

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The Power of Finding and Using a BATNA & WATNA (Part 2 of 3)


…Continued from Part 1: Back to discovering and using what the negotiation world calls a BATNA and WATNA, this article will continue to move through an analysis to help the parties discover the alternatives that will drive how they negotiate and settle a dispute.  The previous article discussed the importance of moving through a BATNA/WATNA …

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Share Mediation Briefs to Save Time and Get Better Results

Mediation briefs should be shared well before the mediation session: to save time in session; to give each side the full force of the other’s positions; to give each side time to carefully consider the other’s positions and calmly prepare a response; to begin establishing the settlement ballpark. Let’s consider the alternatives, their bases, and their effects.

Game Theory, Negotiation, and the “Black Box”

James F. Ring and some colleagues gave a fascinating talk at the recent ABA Dispute Resolution Section on Game Theory; Where it started was cutting a cake; Where it ended was cutting out the lawyers, at least by implication.

The Dark Side of Mediation

Many attempts have been made to link theory to practice, yet mediation, particularly in the context of litigated cases, stubbornly defies scientific evaluation’s; That explains why I expected to dislike Debbie De Girolamo’s treatise, The Fugitive Identity of Mediation: Negotiations, Shift Changes and Allusionary Action.

Strategic Questions For Dispute Resolvers

Asking questions is one of the most powerful – and often misused – tools for professionals in dispute resolution settings, whether legal, workplace, mediation or anywhere. When you are dealing with high-conflict clients, it is especially important to consider the timing of different types of questions and also to know what questions you should never ask. 

Accommodating to Achieve a Positive Result

When people approach conflict or conflict resolution, they typically choose one of five styles of negotiation to handle the conflict—competing, compromising, collaborating, avoiding, and accommodating. These styles describe the way a person can think about, negotiate, and eventually resolve a problem. Most people have a sort of default style that they use for their private, …

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Finding Your Way Through an Impasse

Settlement conferences, mediations, and negotiations are often a great opportunity for a case. The parties can share their wishes and can create a solution to the problem that will not be available if a judge or jury decides the issue. When the parties are cooperating, negotiation may be incredibly productive and save the case from …

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