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I hope that with this article you have some more insights into German business culture and doing business in Germany with four distinct business etiquettes in Germany. Home » Country Profiles » Germany » Business Culture in Germany. If your partner buys lunch, you should invite him/her to come to your country, where it will be your turn to take him/her out. Navigation. Global Business Culture are the world's leading cultural awareness training consultancy. Integration is a long-term process intended to ensure that all lawful and permanent residents are included in German society. Meetings are generally formal and initial meetings are used for the parties to get to know each other. (Say “Prost!” when toasting with beer and “Zum wohl!” when toasting with wine). Approximately 1/3 of the German population is Protestant (predominantly in the northeast and central regions) and another 1/3 is Roman Catholic. Tea is more common in the Northwest. A tip of 10% is normally given on top of the fare. Germans offer a firm, but brief, handshake as a greeting. Long-distance and local rail timetables are coordinated to ensure good connections. Ensure that the facilities that you require for the business meeting are available and ready to use. Although the Brits can do this as well, the Germans have a stronger affiliation with being from Bavaria than the Brits do. Not all Germans speak English and even if they do they might be not comfortable using it. German business culture has a well-defined and strictly observed hierarchy, with clear responsibilities and distinctions between roles and departments. The federal parliament is made up of a directly elected lower house (Bundestag) and an upper house (Bundesrat), which is made up of representatives of the state governments. In German business culture, business cards are typically dispensed to share contact details only when they’re needed. Thus, waving and shouting at a person who is far away may attract negative attention. Strictly Business: 9 Rules for Being Polished, Polite and Professional in German . Germany Doing Business in Germany. Germans are detail- oriented and want to understand every innuendo before coming to an agreement. For as much as it sounds like a contradiction, it is still true: humor for Germans is a serious thing. In a meeting context, an exchange of business cards usually takes place. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Chris has spoken at hundreds of events to thousands of people on the subject of Cultural Diversity & Cultural Competence. As such, there is no German food per se, but a range of German foods, which may exhibit certain similar qualities. Actual business, however, is not supposed to be conducted during lunch or dinner. A number of days after the meeting, your German colleagues will appreciate a follow up phone call. Germany is home to over 80 million people – as well as a diverse array of religions, customs, and traditions that make up the rich national psyche. Germans are not always going to come up and introduce themselves to strangers, especially if they know that you don’t speak their language. German managers work from precise and detailed agendas, which are usually followed rigorously; moreover, meetings always aim for decisive outcomes and results, rather than providing a forum for open and general discussion. When greeting people in Germany, particularly in business meetings, it is imperative that you always use formality. If you’re interested in that, here are some good starting points: This article sheds light and will give practical advice on doing business in Germany and focussing on the actual, current German business culture. Do not ask personal questions related to occupation, salary, age, family or children even if you have a well-established friendship. In German business, a person’s word and handshake are considered his/her bond. The formality of a meeting may make it difficult for an outsider to assess how things are going, but a lengthy examination of a proposal will indicate serious intent. Culture provides a framework for acceptable behaviour and the differences in ideals need to be recognised, valued and appreciated before any real communication can take place. 2. By using our website and agreeing to this policy, you consent to our use of cookies. Germany has a large sophisticated consumer base with high levels of disposable income and a large manufacturing base looking for components, inspiration and expertise. The following is a very short introduction to Germany. German business dress code is conservative understated and formal. Business cards are exchanged quite soon after the beginning of a meeting. Business relations are very formal, and they reflect the German values of order, privacy and punctuality. In fact both hands must be visible at all times. Direct eye contact is especially true when toasting. There is a strict separation between private life and work in Germany and therefore it takes time to forge more personal relationships. There are a couple I’d like to single out here. Herr Doctor Muller), Dr. (female) = Frau Doctor (i.e. Germans value their privacy and personal space immensely. Although sincere smiles are welcomed, and people tend to be polite and hospitable to one another, physical and emotional expressions may be kept to a minimum upon initial introductions. Even if you don’t know very much German, most of them will appreciate you learning their language. However, all four seasons are experienced throughout Germany. It is the native tongue of more than 100 million people. Communicating across cultures begins with the basic understanding that one size does not fit all. Women, especially foreign women, must establish their position and ability immediately in order to be taken seriously when conducting business successfully in Germany. Did you know about business culture in Germany? In fact, Germany’s business world is far … After three years there are exams held by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (“Industrie- und Handelskammer”) after which companies are normally expected to employ their former apprentices or at least some of them since they have been expensive to train. There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to business etiquette in Germany. An extended middle finger is an obscene gesture, as is pointing the index finger at one’s temple especially while driving. The man should then proceed to lead the woman to her destination. For further information, please see below: First impressions are very important to Germans, and may impact upon the outcome of your business relationship with your German counterpart. As meetings tend to be serious and formal, you should avoid any form of irony and should not interrupt the participants. Such errors in communication may have a serious impact on the success of the negotiation process. Recent Developments in Dividends Payment: Tax Optimization and Additional Questions, Portugal: A Country of Contradictions and Balances. The legacy of the war is well understood by Germans and jokes about it are looked upon as improper. In email and in person, men and women should be addressed by their surnames preceded by the title herr or frau, at least until you get to know them better.

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