German BUsiness Etiquette
Business dress in Germany is very conservative. Businessmen wear dark suits; solid, conservative ties, and white shirts. Women also dress conservatively, in dark suits and white blouses. Chewing gum while talking to someone is considered rude. Do not wear showy jewelry or accessories. Be on time or call if you are going to be more than 15 minutes late and offer an explanation, because punctuality is taken extremely seriously. It is extremely rude to cancel a meeting at the last minute and it could destroy your business relationship. Address colleagues according to title and Use last names and appropriate titles until specifically invited by your German host or colleagues to use their first names. Germans value formality and display great deference to people in authority, so it is important that they understand your level relative to their own. This will help establish your authority and set the tone for your subsequent business interactions. If you don't speak German, consider hiring a German translator to demonstrate your professionalism and facilitate communication.
Knock before entering rooms and be sure to allow those in higher positions to enter first. For men and woman of equal status, men will enter before women. These particularly rigid rules of German business etiquette show the German respect for authority and order. Meeting Appointments are mandatory and should be made 1 to 2 weeks in advance. Initial meetings are used to get to know each other.
.The letters should be addressed to the top person in the functional area, including the person's name as well as their proper business title. . Meetings adhere to strict agendas, including starting and ending times.
. Maintain direct eye contact while speaking.. Although English may be spoken, it is a good idea to hire an interpreter so as to avoid any misunderstandings. . At the end of a meeting, some Germans signal their approval by rapping...
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