„Streit vom Zaun brechen“

Streit vom Zaun brechen. To let a conflict get out of control. Germans prefer to hide their internal conflicts for as long as possible. Conficts attract attention and curiosity. They force the conflict parties to take a stand, to explain the problem.

This, in turn, offers management and related organizations an opportunity to get involved, to exert influence on the conflict parties, thereby reducing their ability to address the problem alone and independent of outside influence.

Germans, therefore, try their best to avoid escalating a conflict to the next management level. The side which chooses to do so is viewed as impulsive and thoughtless. Germans would rather give in a bit in order to reduce tensions than to strike back. Avoiding open conflict is seen as intelligent, restrained and prudent. Conflict is for the unsophisticated. 

Der Klügere gibt nach. To be willing to compromise instead of insisting on being right; to see the other side‘s point of view as valid; to take the hit in order to reduce the tension.

Das Feuer schüren. Literally to stoke the flames. To provoke; to start a fight; to turn a difference of opinion into an open conflict; to whip up the emotions.

Germans want to be responsible for their work and to perform it independently. They want their work to be clearly defined and distinguishable from the work of their colleagues. Germans do not feel comfortable with having to explain or justify how they complete their tasks.

Every form of supervision or monitoring is a sign of mistrust. Escalating a conflict is risky, therefore, for it invites a third party, typically the next level of management, to take a closer look into how the conflict parties actually do their work. This makes them vulnerable to outside influences on how they work.

Autonomy. Greek autonomía. Independence, self-governance. From autos, selbst und nomos, law. To be responsible for oneself, self-determination, self-reliance, decision making freedom.