Mediation is often a way of enlarging the “pie”…but what happens when you know as a mediator that the pie is significantly larger than the parties have recognized int heir agreement?
One school of thought says “leave them alone, it’s their deal!” This is fine and dandy,–except when you know that something outside of the deal is highly likely to break the deal.
Another school says, “Well, then ask them lots and lots of questions and try to see whether the issue in your head is relevant to them!” Well, that’s also fine and dandy, particularly if both parties are represented by counsel.
But, what happens when the parites are simply willing to do anything due to fatigue? What if it is clear that the reason they are satisficing is because of something you and/or your co-mediator have done or not done? How do you fix it?
I found the term and a readable explanation on the Interaction-Design website:
by Mads Soegaard
Satisficing describes the situation where people settle with a solution to a problem that is “good enough”.
According to Herbert Simon, people do not seek the best possible solutions to problems, but operate within what he has called bounded rationality. Herbert Simon, whose primary object of research was problem solving, coined the term ‘to satisfice’, which denotes the situation where people seek solutions or accept choices or judgments that are ‘good enough’ for their purposes, but could be optimised (Simon 1957 as cited in Kunda 1999). In the tradition of rationalistic decision-making, it was conventionally assumed that individuals seek the optimal result. Instead, as Simon argues, it is often rational to seek to satisfice in that the process of looking for better solutions/results expends resources. A better solution would thus have to justify the extra costs carried in finding it.
So, let’s open it up to a general case: what do you do when the parties “satifice”?
Do you have a definition of this concept that would work better in the mediation context?