Home to the largest economy in the European Union, Germany offers ample work and business opportunities to its expats. Hundreds of thousands of qualified expats move to Germany every year to grow and expand their career. Like in any other nation, the Germans have their own ways and traits that they are used to and it helps if you know what they are in order to adapt. This will likely increase your chance for success. In this article we discuss the top 5 tips with regards to German business etiquette and how to stay on the right side of the Germans.
Tips for business etiquette in Germany
Do Not Be Late
When it comes to business etiquette in Germany, punctuality is taken very seriously and being late is usually frowned upon and you might be perceived as unprofessional. When doing business this is exactly the opposite of the image you want to give. As a last resort, if you have no other option but being late, call well in advance to advice the other party.
Addressing People In A Formal Manner
The office rules and organisation in Germany are also taken quite seriously and more often than not, people do not step out of the office hierarchy. Keep this in mind when you are addressing colleagues and especially people with a higher position than you. Always address people with the correct titles and surnames, until they give you the ‘permission’ to use first names.
When greeting or meeting new people, always opt for shaking hands as a way to introduce yourself. It is quite normal in Germany, that before and after a meeting a meeting you shake hands with everyone. When doing so, it is recommended that you start firstly from the most senior person and work your way down. Practice your handshake to be firm, brief and confident.
Straight To The Point
Unlike many other countries, in Germany it is recommended that when discussing business related topics, that you get straight to the point, rather than ‘beating around the bush’. At first this might seem somewhat rude or too direct, however, the Germans tend to prefer this method.
Keep It Professional
In Germany, people do not usually stay discussing personal matters at the workplace. Even though this might make them seem distant, opt for doing small talk and avoid not too specific topics
Avoid wearing to many shiny clothing and jewelry. The Germans have a tendency that at the work place, they stick to wearing usually dark and serious suits. Even when it comes to suits its recommended that men avoid over flashy ties and women are advised to also keep make up and jewelry minimal.
This guide will help you fit in the German community and at the work place, enabling you to blend in and become more accepted. In addition, by reading this blog, you will also know what to expect when it comes to the business etiquette in Germany.