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Business to Business In Germany — 10 Things You Have to Consider First!

Do you consider doing business to business in Germany? Do you think you are able to lead negotiations in Germany successfully? Do you consider sending your application to a German Corporation? Read on to find out if you are ready.

Marcus Hochstadt

Do you consider doing business to business in Germany? Do you think you are able to lead negotiations in Germany successfully? Do you consider sending your application to a German Corporation? Read on to find out if you are ready.

If you are delicate, apathetic, inconsequential and trivial in your approach as a manager, you may need to consider carefully whether or not you would fit into the culture of a German corporation, or would be able to lead negotiations successfully.

With the following ten points you will find out if there are any difficulties doing business to business in Germany.

1. Leaders

German values favor leaders who are seen to be clearly dominating and charismatic in their style of leadership. Though they are expected to encourage others to work as an integral part of the team, be accessible, and share information, managers in German companies are more distant. It is not unusual to find the chief executive of a big German company making his way to his private office in his own private elevator!

2. Employees

In Germany there is often a complex system of employee performance appraisal. The practice of according job titles and minutely detailing an employee’s responsibilities is common in German companies. This can lead to complaints from Germans if they only get vague indications of what they are supposed to do. A lack of clear direction, defined responsibility and goals can result in beginning to lose focus. German employees then see their job as boring and demotivating.

3. Leaders vs. Employees

German corporations unnaturally distance their employees by denying them any meaningful responsibility that would make them feel partly responsible for the success of the company.

4. Punctuality

In Germany, punctuality is necessary and meetings start at the advertised time. Meetings go on for as long as committed followed by a time agenda. (visit for further information)

5. Laziness

It is uncommon for German employees to work Saturdays, take only one week’s vacation, and count a day sick as holiday. Germans usually take up to five week’s vacation, only work on weekends if their life depends on, and would even count two hours sick as a whole day sick. This lazy working schedule is alien in most other countries. Even though Germany is famous for its disciplinary attitude, Germans have a tendency towards laziness. This, however, does not count for most Managers, whose tend to do business to business in Germany.

6. Loyality

Many Germans don’t stay with the same company all their working lives. German companies, who regularly headhunting top employees from other companies, are less committed to the tradition of employee loyalty that is favored by foreign corporations.

7. Initiative

German staff lacks initiative. In German corporations subordinates are seldom involved in, and expected to contribute to, the decision-making process. They may just be expected to follow orders and directives from the top. Although German workers have little responsibility for their work, they do expect recognition beyond an acknowledgment that the job has been done.

8. Relationship

German people place less importance on getting to know others well before entering into any kind of relationship, be that a long-term working relationship or one for a short-term purpose such as negotiating. It is a widely held view in German culture that, so long as people are doing their job, developing a close working relationship with, or even trusting others, is not a requirement.

9. Addressing

In Germany, first name usage is reserved for close family and friends. In the work place people are addressed by the last name headed by the address, unless someone offers differently.

10. Status Symbolization

In the German culture it is material goods, such as clothes, or the size of one’s car or office, which symbolizes status.

Consider these ten bullets and you will do business to business in Germany more successfully

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