Book Review Common Sense: Making Good Decisions in Real Estate Workouts Paperback – August 20, 2016

A useful book  for Bank workout officers, negotiators and mediators  dealing with real estate borrower/lender relationships


I met Mark Weiss a few years back through a shared interest in Storytelling. With Mark you are never quite sure that you know everything that he does. I knew he had written a book or two  (this is his 8th I think), but I did not know about this book. I learned about it when Mark handed me a copy recently and said that he thought I might enjoy reading it. He was right. It is a quick read. The intended audience for the book is really for bank “workout” officers who will be charged with the responsibility of managing negotiations for properties that come into a bank’s portfolio as a result of a foreclosure or other circumstance. Mark has a wealth of experience in these kinds of situations. What makes this book interesting and worth a read is the wealth of knowledge contained in the book, but also the weaving in of his personal stories ( remember, he is an excellent storyteller as well) recounting tales where deals go bad, are rescued ( sometimes) and the lessons learned from both. So, while the book is truly a “handbook” or “desk-reference” for workout officers, it reads a bit like a documentary, and sometimes even as an action story! Another potential audience is anyone who, like me, mediates commercial disputes. Mark’s understanding of the workout process, is a roadmap for negotiators as well as mediators who are concerned with discovering BATNA/WATNA and the real needs and interests of both sides to these workouts.  I recommend this helpful,  quick and easy read.

Available at Amazon

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GUEST POST: Negotiation Hooks – Iryna Sokhatska



“William Shakespeare, the greatest English poet and playwright, said, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” The article is focused primarily on studies helpful in understanding negotiation insight that one, unfortunately, can’t always control but for sure should be aware of. The negotiation hooks described in the article are not exhaustive and only the most important ones are analyzed here.

“Good communication skills are vital to a successful, rewarding practice. You need to communicate well with your clients, staff , partners, associates, other lawyers, and vendors. Improving your communication skills will let you express yourself with more confidence” and some knowledge of negotiation insight or so called “negotiation hooks” will let you achieve the results fast and smoothly. It will also let you recognize techniques by which you could become a marionette in someone’s skillful hands. Some guidelines, like these, will make a difference because “before anything else, getting ready is the secret to success.”


“The psychological aikido’s main principle is the same as a classical physical aikido: using the force of the other party to gain control; switching the counterparty’s attention to succeed.

How does that work in negotiations?

One of the excellent examples of this approach is the fairytale “A fox and a crow.” A crow was on the tree having a piece of cheese in the beak. The fox wanted to obtain the cheese and started to praise the crow saying, “Sing, sing, please, your voice is so sweet, so unique.” After a couple of similar compliments the crow forgot about the cheese, opened the beak to sing, so the cheese fell down and was happily eaten by the fox.”

Read the entire article by clicking this link:

Sokhatska Article

Iryna Sokhatska is a practicing lawyer in Ukraine, and a recent graduate International LL.M student from IIT Chicago- Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois. isokhats@