Are German business executives more likely to frown than to smile? Will an international business meeting with Germany turn into a debate? When negotiating with Germany, you must first understand the cultural characteristics that make them so serious and so successful.
Germany emerged as the European leader in driving growth. Some countries have achieved many things in the field of international business. There are companies that avoid Germans believing them too suddenly; too possible to argue; and too skeptical. Some consider other European countries to be friendlier and easier to do business.
Perception is not necessarily reality
A smile is overvalued. For more than five years, I worked for German executives. They are excellent negotiators and outstanding drivers of international business. With a better understanding, the cultural issues behind German business behavior, meetings, relationships and opportunities will increase.
Here are some concepts of German business culture:
Germany remains on schedule. This is a culture that is disturbed when the train is one minute late. Timeliness is in their DNA. Meetings will begin and end on time, no matter how sudden it might appear;
The German business expression is, “Dienst ist Dienst und Schnapps ist Schnapps,” or work is work and drink is drink. In other words, there is a clear line between German business executives and personal life. Some small talk creeps up on their personal discomfort, so they tend to reduce it;
Most German executives have a high sense of humor
After laughing, their smiles quickly faded. Sitting in public with a grin on your face looks strange, like there are several types of mental problems. This is a common trait in many European countries, not only Deutschland;
Germany asks a lot of direct questions, and emerges quickly to enter business debates. In Germany, questions and debates tend to increase understanding and help create more ideas and choices. Even when a German executive likes a proposal, they will encourage you to make sure it’s strong;
Duties and commitments are important for Germans
When an American says, “I will do my best,” it means they will try, but they are not committed to success. When German executives promise to do their best, they will apply their greatest efforts and are likely to succeed. Germany expects a clear commitment to a plan.
Once you understand cultural issues
it’s easier to adapt to business discussions. Be on time and ready to start at the appointed time. Minimize small talk and don’t ask personal questions. They will enjoy jokes, but don’t expect a smirk. Be prepared for a good debate with data backup. Don’t take challenges personally. Push back, when you disagree. Be firm and clear about commitment
There are countries in Europe and around the world that seem friendlier and more pleasant for business. Friendship and pleasure can cause delay, ambiguity, and failure. In addition to comfort, German business people: make sense of what they are pROFIT… READ MORE ...