Feedback


Performance

Germans separate the personal from the professional. Feedback, both formal and informal, addresses performance only. It is given in a neutral and unemotional way. Feedback, whether positive or negative, is not meant personally.

Patterns


Praise

Germans give praise in direct connection with factually demonstrated performance. Praise in front of the team is seldom, however. Official awards are rare, for they could lead to envy and thus undermine team cohesion.

Patterns


Criticism

Germans focus on reducing errors. When providing feedback they concentrate on weaknesses, on what is not working. Germans address weaknesses directly, openly and in a neutral, matter-of-fact way.

Patterns


Discretion

Sensitive feedback discussions in Germany are often done in one-to-one talks. There are situations, however, when Germans openly criticize a colleague in the presence of the team. This is not necessarily seen as unfair to that individual, instead as imperative in order to “get issues on the table.”

Patterns


Scores

Germans believe that feedback scores are most effective when they are accurate and realistic. When in doubt, Germans are deflationary. The school grading system is: 1 is sehr gut (very good); 2 is gut (good); 3 is befriedigend (satisfactory); 4 is ausreichend (sufficient); 5 is mangelhaft (insufficient); F is ungenügend (failed).

Patterns