This article in today’s New York Times about “the life that you could swap for the one that you were leading” caught my eye. The author summarizes the new Plan B for those impacted by the economic slowdown as sometimes being “the best you can make of a worst-case scenario.”
In negotiating, your Plan B plays a critical role. It tells you when to walk and when to sign. If your Plan B is better than that on the table, you shouldn’t do the deal. If the offer on the table is better than your best Plan B, you should strongly consider it. Importantly, when considering your Plan B, you should brainstorm alternatives (new Plan Bs) to take if you don’t or can’t reach an agreement and then convert the better ones into practical possibilities. Taking steps to improve your best Plan Bs (and undermine your counterpart’s best Plan Bs) can greatly improve your leverage and result in a much better deal at the end of the day.