Germans are strongly individualistic.
The German thought process
is extremely thorough, with each aspect of a project
being examined in great detail. This process is
often times very time-intensive. However, once
the planning is over, a project will move very
quickly and deadlines are expected to be honored.
Germans do not like surprises.
Sudden changes in business transactions, even if
they may improve the outcome, are unwelcome.
German citizens do not
need or expect to be complimented. In Germany,
it is assumed that everything is satisfactory unless
the person hears otherwise.
Punctuality is necessity
in Germany. Arrive on time for every appointment,
whether for business or social. Being late, even
if it is only by a few minutes, is very insulting
to a German executive.
In business situations,
shake hands at both the beginning and the end of
a meeting. Additionally, a handshake may
be accompanied with a slight bow. Reciprocating
the nod is a good way to make a good impression,
as failure to respond with this nod/bow (especially
a superior) may get you off to a bad start. Be
sure to look directly into the person's eyes while
When being introduced
to a woman, wait to see if she extends her hand.
Business is viewed as
being very serious, and Germans do not appreciate
humor in a business context.
In business meetings,
age takes precedence over youth. If you are in
a group setting, the eldest person enters first.
Germans keep a larger
personal space around them, approximately 6 inches
more space than North Americans do. However,
it is not unusual that when in line at a store
cash register, Germans will crowd up very close
to the person in front of them.
People that have worked
together for years still shake hands each morning
as if it were the first time they met.
German men frequently
great each other with Herr 'last
name', even when they know each other very
Germans are able to consume
large quantities of beer in one evening, but public
drunkenness is not acceptable. It is best
to know your limits, especially in Bavaria where
two liters of beer is an ordinary evening. Pace
yourself and eat plenty of food.
Typically, you do not
wait to be seated in German restaurants, and it
is not uncommon to share a table with strangers.
However, most Germans will think it odd if you
try to initiate a conversation with them beyond
just establishing that the chairs are available.
sending a gift to someone in Germany? See