Cultural Training in Germany
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Germany Cultural Training
Doing business in a foreign country isn't like going on holiday: don't expect to get by with knowledge of a few words, and don't assume business is conducted in the same way universally.
But how can you properly prepare? There are many cultural training companies and schools which can help you. They offer cross-cultural grounding, bridging the translatory and protocolic gaps between nations and people.
Providing guidance in all areas of business and sociality, these cultural training companies are experts when it comes to negotiation training; management training; and diversity training. All training, of course, can be country-specific.
Tutorials can take many forms, so investigate which will be right for you and, if necessary, your employees.
Business Etiquette in Germany
The formalities and informalities; the how d'you dos and how d'you don'ts. Etiquette is one of the foundations of modern civilisation, and business is no exception. A business blunder, in some countries, could mean the difference between a deal and disrepute. Again, its all about culture if not adopting, at least recognising and respecting the traditions and protocols of a people.
Germans are famous for their organisation, planning, time keeping and neatness. This spills from their social and home life into the business world without question.
When greeting someone shake their hand, maintain eye contact and smile.
Make appointments about 2 weeks in advance and written correspondence should be addressed to the top person in the functional area and written in German.
Meeting are generally formal and you should be on time, calling ahead if you are delayed.
Meetings start and end on time.
Although English may be spoken, it is a good idea to hire an interpreter so as to avoid any misunderstandings.
At the end of a meeting, some Germans signal their approval by rapping their knuckles on the tabletop.
There is a strict protocol to follow when entering a room: the eldest or highest ranking person enters the room first. Men enter before women, if their age and status are roughly equivalent.
Normally when a decision is made it will not be changed and decision making is made at the top of the company. Any decisions and contacts are strictly adhered to. Germans prefer to make little small talk and do not respond well to confrontational behaviour or high pressure tactics.
Dress smart and conservative in an formal understated way, avoiding ostentatious jewellery or accessories.