Did you get my email?

Question “Email is our main form of communication. Between us in the United States and our colleagues in Germany. And for the most part it works. However, it is very common for our German colleagues to not acknowledge that they have received an email from us. We don’t understand this. … 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

Americans and History

Question „How do Americans understand history? Are they aware that there is a difference between what actually happened and what is written in the history books?“ UC This is a question of seriousness and gravity. It goes to the heart of how a people understands itself and others. Although a … Read more

Persuade with processes

Question “I’ve always been baffled by how Germans can attempt to persuade by referring to processes and certificates. That is certainly a cultural issue which even after 14 years I’m not willing to accept.” UC You are baffled. When Germans refer to processes and certificates it does not persuade you. Why … Read more

Prose Text vs. Diagrams

Question “Why do Americans prefer describing processes in prose text? Germans prefer diagrams, which can then be combined to illustrate processes. The German approach seems to be übersichtlicher (clear, clearly arranged).“ UC A interesting point! Germans brief I’ve seen many process documents in both cultures. The Americans seem to use both prose … Read more

Persuade me nonetheless

Question „How is it that certain Americans ﹣ although they do not understand the subject matter as well as their German counterparts, and have less experience ﹣ are still able to persuade me that their concept, product or service is better?“ UC Many times in my work I have heard … Read more

Personality or Facts

Question “When Americans are in persuasion mode what is more important the power of personality or the power of facts? And why is it so?” UC This is an exceptionally critical (as in important) question. It goes to the heart of one of the major divergences in how Americans and … Read more

Audience thinks like them

Question “In my experience, Germans usually try to persuade in a fairly logical manner and in that sense are not dissimilar to Americans. I have noticed a tendency, however, to assume the audience thinks like they do, shares their general views of the world, etc. In selling something (products, ideas) it … Read more

Get on the journey!

Question “Both sides need to be willing to change. How can we get them on that journey?” UC A change journey, indeed! But not change our own cultures. That is impossible. And not necessary. USA and Germany, two great cultures. Instead, we want to understand the differences in how we think. For there … Read more

Negotiating styles

Question “What are the differences in negotiating styles?” UC We at CI have not addressed this topic. Why? We believe that colleagues within companies should not negotiate with each other. However, those same colleagues will negotiate with both suppliers and with customers. And we all can imagine how negotiations would … Read more