Germans are direct. They say what they mean. And they mean what they say. Germans do not use euphemisms to soften a message. They believe in using unambiguous language and getting to the point. For Germans direct communication is honest, transparent, efficient.
Work vs. Person
Germans separate the professional from the personal. Work colleagues can disagree, even argue, about the substance of an issue. This, however, does not have a negative affect on their working relationship.
In the German business context small talk is small, meaning short in duration. The Germans prefer to transition quickly to issues of substance. They see little value in talking about the weather, sports or what they did on their most recent vacation.
When Germans engage in discussions they seek out topics which lead to lively discussions. Germans are intelligent and well-informed. They enjoy intellectual give and take. And since this means a difference of opinions, Germans purposely choose controversial topics.
Germans give unsolicited advice. Usually it is criticism. However, in most cases the criticism is accurate and helpful. In some cases Germans simply want to show that they know better. Mostly Germans give unsolicited advice because they sincerely want to be helpful.
Back to Germany.