Doing Business in Germany – Part 1

A short Analyses of the different Regions

Cultural Differences of German RegionsSince is supposed to support you with some information about doing business in a global environment I want to start talking about countries and their business etiquette. Today I want to present information about Germany. Firstly I have to present different regions since there are some differences within the Germans concerning the geographic part they come from. (the map is just an indication of the geographic parts)

1. GDR-Confidence?

Schwerin Castle and surrounding parkI was born in the GDR but I obviously only lived the life there for three years due to the happenings in 1989. But what I learned about the people during the years I lived there and when I am visiting my family is that they are very ambitious, hard working and group oriented.

2. Northern Reservation?

Since I worked and studied in the Northern part of Germany I also got to know the sometimes reservated way in first meetings. I also tend to be more reservated and listen to what my business partners have to say and whether I can really take them serious. So this habit is not against you if you start business in this part of Germany but you need to be supportive and invest some time in these relationships. But you can be sure that you will have a very reliable business partner if you are going to invest it.

3. Western courtesy?

Culture of Soccer in Western GermanyIn comparison to the Northern part people from the Western part of Germany will be mostly upfronted with you. Moreover they are often affectionate and have a cheerful nature. And be aware that soccer has already a very high popularity in Germany but it has the most in this region. It’s more like a religion there.

4. Swabian parsimony?

The Swabians often take their time for decisions or simply building their opinion. You should be aware to behave reservated and never be too demanding. But be careful. If the Swabian formed his opinion his mind will unlikely be changed. Moreover it’s said that they are pinching pennies.

5. Bavarian drinking culture?

No it’s not all about drinking in Bavaria and as I often have to tell non German people Bavaria is also not the typical Germany. But since everyone in this world seems to know and love the Oktoberfest it is obviously why Germans are quite often asked about this “subculture”. I think a Bavarian would likely describe himself as a straightforward person who are doing things with high commitment and passion.

6. Berlin slang?

Sun Bear in Berlin ZooIf you do business with a real Berliner it could be that he is very direct in his speech and you could think that he is talking very rude. But often times they only try to get to the point quite fast. So don’t feel insulted by the so called “Berliner Kodderschnauze”.

Now you know the typical regions of Germany but of course never forget about the own personality of a business partner and that a hundred per cent generalization will surely be wrong. So try the best to connect to your business partners and get to know them.

Next week I am going to tell you about the general business etiquette in Germany.

3 thoughts on “Doing Business in Germany – Part 1

  1. When I was a child, we lived near Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg and thus my German influence comes from there. As an adult, I interviewed to become a flight attendant for American Airlines. I was told that speaking other languages was a bonus and took some tests to measure my acumen. The German tester did not like the fact that I had more of a Schwäbisch lilt to my words and grammar. He almost didn’t pass me; I think it’s important to remind newcomers to Germany that there are over 300 different dialects and Hochsdeutsch is a good start. I would encourage people to try to get to know the locals and their particular manner of speaking as well, since then, I have not had a single person take issue with my “issch” instead of “ich”(ik),

  2. This was a very interesting post. Berliners are probably like our New Yorkers. Don’t waste my time, get to the point, places to go, people to see. Western Germany is probably like our Sourthern Hospitality. Thank you for visiting my blog. Haben Sie ein großes Wochenende!

  3. Interesting information. However, having never been to Germany, I don’t know how I would be able to tell that I was speaking with a Swabian. I guess how they pronounce ich according to skyboyintl.

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