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

Always correcting my German

Question “While learning to speak the German language in their work environment, why does the average German not allow you to finish the sentence before jumping in to correct your grammar or vocabulary? Whereas the average American is very accommodating to allow the foreign learner of English to finish their sentences … Read more

Voicing Criticism in America

Question “I have the impression that Americans shy away from using criticism, be it in personal conversation or at work. In Germany it is accepted to express objective criticism when appropriate. But in conversations with Americans everything is always great. On what level is it socially accepted to voice concerns … Read more

Spielerisch

Question “Why is it that so many Americans – in comparison to us Germans – approach difficult situations with more optimism and are spielerisch (playful, relaxed, hands-on)?” UC Dealing difficult situations involves risk. Americans and Germans differ in how they define, calculate and react to risk. Difficult situations are also … Read more

Germans don’t celebrate success

Question “Our German colleagues seem to be much more reserved in celebrating successes. Whether it’s a business, personal or even sporting event, they do not seem to celebrate victories. I was wondering why?“ UC I know what you mean. Americans are often quite surprised by how reserved the Germans are, … Read more

Great question!

Question “I have picked up from my American faculty colleagues that their first response to a question from a student is ‘Great question!’ before answering the question. One of the German faculty colleagues once mentioned that this may come across to German students as patronising. What is the best first … Read more

Forecasting

Question “Our German colleagues do not accept (trust) our forecasts for the U.S. market. We’re not sure why. Perhaps they are stubborn. Or our American presentation logic does not persuade them. Or maybe they simply don’t understand us. How do we get our message across more effectively to Germany?” UC “How … Read more