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16/02/2010

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Ulf Haga

Dear Richard (Sehr geehrter Herr Dr. Lewis),
Thank You for you article, there is nothing that I would change in it. However working with Germans, I would like to add two things:
1. Estimation
The word probably does not exist in the German vocabulary. Here in Scandinavia and Finland we used to give our best estimation when we do not have the precise answer available. We seldom get that from our German friends.
2. Black box
In our eyes the German organisations with their hierarchy are like black boxes. There are a lot of complicated routines and methods inside, unknown to us outsiders. After a time that feel like it would take years, your simple question will be answered in the greatest detail. Sadely, it is often then too late.

We will put a copy of your article on our bulletin board

Kind Regards,
Ulf Haga
Managing Director
Hentec Oy Ab

Marion

Thank you very much
As my father was born in Germany, and since I was influenced by some of the characteristics mentioned in this post, it all made quite good sense to me.
Thank you
Marion Burgheimer
Inetcultural trainer
Israel

Anne Collins

This is a good guide for anyone new in the German business scene. It is certainly true for most Germans, even though a lot of them would say "Oh, then I'm not typically German".

Having lived in Germany for 22 years, I have experienced that in discussions, Germans often get stuck on one particular detail of the topic at hand, especially if they disagree and I notice myself coming back to the overall theme in my answers to ensure we don't get side-tracked.

A comment on "time", Germans don't really mind if one is late, but you have to let them know that you'll be late.

Thanks for the comments.
Anne Collins
Language trainer in Frankfurt am Main

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