Consensus via Dialogue

Precisely because it is so important to Germans to work in an independent, self-managing way, and because they usually have a clear picture in their mind of what the end result should look like, it is critical that customer and supplier reach as high a level of consensus as possible about what is to be achieved and how. All too often, however, the supplier simply asks for an okay from the customer about certain details.

When the details of collaboration need to be worked out, then colleagues from both sides sit down together and discuss them. Germans strive to work in integrated ways, including work processes. German customers and suppliers do their best to work as partners.

To clarify details is to address the how, whether it be a technical matter, how a given process is interpreted and lived, or how the organization is structured. Germans place great importance on clarifying as many details upfront as possible. They want to anticipate possible problems. Participating in and contributing to this upfront clarification process is critical to the success of customer-supplier relationships in Germany.

Abstimmen. Clarify, decide on, together; to decide based on voting; to bring things together, harmonize, agree on; to co-decide, to discuss with another person; to listen carefully and consider the other point of view, then find a joint solution; to establish consensus together.

Consensus via Dialogue