Cultural intelligence

Serious business in Germany

In-depth, long-term planning is both expected and respected when doing business in Germany. Germans usually arrive extremely well prepared for meetings with all the facts and figures at their disposal. Be prepared. Be calm. Outbursts of emotion are seen as signs of weakness and lack of professionalism.


Germans may seem extremely formal.  This formality is a sign of respect as is using the formal Sie and Herr or Frau.


Once decisions have been made, everybody is expected to carry them out without question, regardless of their agreement or disagreement with the original decision. Very little flexibility is allowed. Little value is placed on a compromise or middle ground between two conflicting ideas. Compromising can be seen as weakness or uncertainty.


Emphasis is placed on the printed rather than the spoken word and so it is always important to put information and decisions. in writing.


Humour is generally not acceptable in the work place. Avoid humour in all difficult or important business situations. However, when socialising with Germans you will find that they are as keen to enjoy themselves as you are.


Is this subjective? Generalisation? Tell us your view.

share print