Please respond faster

Question “How can we ask our German colleagues to respond more quickly without annoying them?” UC Explain to your German colleagues what time looks like in the specific situation. Lay out the cause-and-effect relationships, i.e. if late by this much time, then this happens. Prepare, and inform them about, contingency … Read more

No more meetings!

Question “Our two companies were merged about a year ago. Post-merger integration has been completed. Recently we have begun experiencing cultural problems. More and more often our American colleagues refuse to participate in meetings. They simply say ‘No more meetings!’ We don’t know how to react. What should we do?” … Read more

Why is yes or no absolute

Question “In the German culture, why does a yes or a no need to be absolute and not conditional upon changing input factors? In other words, is a qualified yes or a qualified no acceptable in Germany?” UC Yes, the German culture allows for a qualified yes and a qualified … Read more

Hard deadline

Question “In the U.S. once a decision has been made the time afforded to implement that decision can be very short. In Germany, who is responsible for deciding what the hard deadline is?” UC That would depend on the situation. What kinds of situations, or scenarios, are there? There are … Read more

Vague German replies

Question “I find myself constantly asking our German colleagues the when-question regarding the completion of a project. Their response is frequently vague. How can we get the response to be better for us, even if only it is an approximate answer?” UC Germans do not like to be nailed down – festgenagelt … Read more

Under pressure to produce results

Question “The German business culture is reluctant to commit to projects which have unknowns and are not guaranteed to succeed. The American business culture is under constant pressure to produce results. Americans can appear to be pushy, emotional and fiery. How can we reconcile the two approaches?” UC Let’s consider … Read more

Self-Follow up

Question “How can I (as a German) get Americans to do more self-follow up, so that I don’t have to do the follow up?“ UC Thanks for the question. It’s symptomatic for German-American cooperation, and it can be answered. There is follow up and there is follow up, meaning different … Read more

Project check-ins

Question “Would it be beneficial to set up the scope of an agreement? In other words, to get clarity among all parties to an agreement what the expectations are? For Example: the team will have check-ins to share project progress even without aspects being fully complete.” UC It is true … Read more

Maintain forward movement

Question “The Germans do not feel comfortable with aggressive, hard sales, including the American version of it. Americans, on the other hand, perceive their German colleagues as being sales-shy. Taking this important cultural difference into account, how can we maintain forward movement in the U.S., especially since we often cannot … Read more

List concerns before getting “No!”

Question “How can we get German colleagues to list upfront all of their concerns before saying no?” UC Perhaps you should anticipate their concerns, then build your arguments into your request, thereby demonstrating that you have done your homework, and that you have taken their perspective into consideration. Secondly, perhaps … Read more