Welcome to Intercultural Reflections, a blog touching on the various cultural differences between Germans and Americans. I spend a lot of time focusing on how these differences affect the business relationship. Sometimes, though, I highlight topics of more general interest.
While I hope you visit– and stay– for all the posts and join the conversation, I understand that time is often short, the Internet is full of information, and sometimes you just need what you need, fast.… read more
I say it up front at all intercultural trainings: you will not understand how Americans „tick“ in the workplace—and in society—unless you understand the American brand of individualism.
Individualism is a core American value that goes back to the USA’s founding.… read more
How steep is your corporate hierarchy?
Does national culture play a role?
When reading web-based literature about the German corporate culture as experienced by Americans, one learns that US-colleagues are often struck by the ordered structure with respect to job duties and communication channels in German companies.… read more
Micronesia. Tonga. Kiribati. Marshall Islands. Nauru. Palau. The United States of America.
These countries all belong in a group together, but for what?
No, they don’t all enjoy year-round tropical beach weather. Just ask our friends along the U.S. North Atlantic coast who are digging out from the recent late-winter Nor’easter.… read more
On the heels of another intercultural training, Imma go ahead and devote some time to a topic that bubbles up again and again and again (and, for good measure, one more „again“) from the fine businessfolks of Germany regarding working with their American counterparts.… read more
1. Colleagues may bring in baked goods to share on their birthday
Let’s start with the fun, fluffy stuff. Once, when I worked at a high school in the U.S.A., I was greeted in my office on my birthday with a beautiful home-baked birthday cake by my boss (I still remember, Pat!) Granted, this may have been over and above what many bosses do, however, it is generally the typical order of things in America for people bring treats to YOU, the birthday child (assuming, of course, people know it’s your birthday)
So, you can imagine my confusion after moving to Germany when office colleagues would bring in cake, muffins and the like, followed quickly by a round of collegial handshaking and wishes of „Alles gute zum Geburtstag!“ to the bearer of the treats.… read more