What about regional differences

Question “But wait, what about regional differences within countries?” UC Yes, indeed, there are huge differences! Northern Germany vs. Bavaria. Cologne vs. Eifel. Saxony is not Schwarzwald. New York City vs. Mobile, Alabama. Georgia is not Oregon. San Francisco vs. Nashville. And those differences are especially relevant when you throw … Read more

Who is more open

Question “Which of the two national cultures is more willing to address cultural differences?” UC This is a very sensitive question. Why? First: Often we don’t address cultural differences because we aren’t aware of them. We don’t see them. No one has pointed them out to us. We simply assumed … Read more

Criticism of America

Question “On what level is it socially accepted to voice concerns or criticism of America?“ UC „Within the family“ criticism of America and/or of Americans, understood as internal debate about what America is and should become, is as old as the country itself. In fact, a democracy as vibrant as … Read more

No sense of humor

Question “Many people say that Germans don’t have a sense of humor. Is that true or is it a stereotype?” UC Although this question appears to have little to do with the complexities of Americans and Germans collaborating, it is a very serious question. Why? Humor is very important Having … Read more

Formal vs. Informal

Question “What are the potential risks in the different levels of formality in behaviour and communication between German and American business people?“ UC Yes, Germans are more formal than Americans. And yes, there are risks involved if the differences are not recognized, understood, and managed well. Here are three risks (certainly … Read more

Education vs. Experience

Question “After returning to the U.S. after many years of working in the German business context, I was stunned by how immediately I was taken seriously and valued for my extensive experience abroad. In Germany, despite proven work results over six years and my fluent German, I was still regarded … Read more

Can collaboration work

Question “With the many complex and subtle differences between Americans and Germans, can their collaboration even work, or at least work well?” UC Of course their collaboration can work. It works day in and day out. In many companies, large and small. In all disciplines. At all levels. Involving tens … Read more

Best country in the world

Question „Americans believe that they live in the best country in the world. To what degree are Americans self-critical?“ UC Americans identify with their country personally. In a way they believe that if America is good, they are good. If bad, they are bad. If strong, they are strong. If … Read more

Arrogance or Hierarchy

Question “Germans seem to have the logic: “I will only respond to my hierarchical counterpart in the U.S. I will not interact directly with members of her/his team.” The Global Key Account Manager for one of my accounts is German. That person will not include me directly in communications even … Read more

Americans are superficial

Question “Oberflächlichkeit – superficiality – is one of the main stereotypes Germans have about Americans. Are Americans aware of it, and where does the stereotype come from?” UC MerriamWebster online defines the term stereotype as: to believe unfairly that all people or things with a particular characteristic are the same. American … Read more