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The Truth About Negotiations by Leigh Thompson

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Truth 48Know why the fish swim

Cultural differences can dramatically affect negotiations. For example, when people from the U.S. and people from China were shown a picture of a group of swimming goldfish and asked to make a one-sentence summation of what was going on, the stories they told were diametrically different. Americans told stories of leadership and taking the helm. Stories about CEOs and their direct reports were not uncommon. People from China told stories about community members attempting to catch and protect a teammate and stories about how it is important to work in the community.

The U.S. stories were about leadership and individual effort. The Chinese stories were about community and team effort. These different stories illustrate ...

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