Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess have slightly adapted the BATNA concept to emphasize what they call “EATNAs” – popular alternatives to a negotiated agreement” instead of “better alternatives.” Although the parties to the dispute do not have good options outside of negotiations, they often think they do. (For example, both sides believe that they can impose themselves in court or in the military struggle, even if some of them are significantly weaker or if the relative forces are so balanced that the outcome is very uncertain.) But the decision whether or not to accept an agreement depends on perception. If a contestant thinks he or she has a better option, she will follow this option very often, even if she is not as good as she thinks. Negotiations are more than the definition of a number of alternatives. Understanding the nuances of negotiating tactics can help improve industrial relations by terminating difficult conflicts. Understanding the negotiations can also help you assess personal strengths and weaknesses in the event of a conflict and learn how to manage your negotiating tendencies. Finally, studying the common and potentially manipulative negotiating tactics used by some people can help negotiators neutralize their effects. The preparatory phase is when you plan what you are going to do in the absence of agreement. You can also guess your opponent`s BATNA. BATNA and EATNAs also have an effect on what William Zartman and others have described as “maturity,” the timing of a dispute being resolved or “ripe” for a settlement.  If the parties have ideas or “congruous images” about BATNs, then negotiations are ripe to reach an agreement. The images of Kongruent-BATNA have ensured that both parties have similar views on how a dispute will be possible if they do not agree, but instead pursue their other rights-based or power-based options. In this situation, it is often wiser for them to negotiate an agreement without continuing the dispute process and thus reduce transaction costs.
This occurs when parties involved in a dispute engage in an out-of-court settlement (which happens in the United States about 90 percent of the time). The reason the parties agree is that their lawyers have understood the understanding of the strength of the case of both parties and the likelihood that each party will be able to impose themselves in court.