General

The most important thing in business culture is punctuality

Keeping an official character and maintaining certain mannerisms

Appointments in Germany are mandatory and meetings in German companies are generally scheduled well in advance

It is advisable that you make appointments a few weeks beforehand by telephone or fax

Allow up to four weeks to make appointments if using the mail

If you write to schedule an appointment, the letter should be written in German

Do not ask personal questions related to occupation, salary, age, family or children even if you have a well-established friendship

Germans are more formal and punctual than most of the rest of the world. They have prescribed roles and seldom step out of line

A man or younger person should always walk to the left side of a lady

Always greet women first in Germany

Do not be offended if someone corrects your behavior

The Germans do not need to establish personal relationships before they do business

You should avoid setting up a meeting on Friday afternoon and the months of July, August, December and April – these are the usual vacation months in Germany

Germans believe that maintaining clear lines of demarcation between people, places, and things is the surest way to lead a structured and ordered life

Work and personal lives are rigidly divided

Lower your voice a little and behave graciously and you will enjoy a warm response from the people of Germany

Germans value their privacy and personal space immensely

Compliment carefully and sparingly – it may embarrass rather than please

Do not lose your temper publicly. This is viewed as uncouth and a sign of weakness

Stand up when an older or higher ranked person enters the room to greet him/her

Expeditious handling of correspondence is mandatory. Telephone calls and faxes should be returned promptly

Last minute cancellation is received negatively, if you need to cancel an appointment, it must be done at least 24 hours before the time fixed

Appointments are mandatory and should be made 1 to 2 weeks in advance

Introductions during a business meeting in Germany is a formal step, during the press by everyone in the room

Have to use titles Herr and Frau man woman and then specify the role of the member and the family name, the use of first names is not acceptable

You should not shout or be too loud and don’t put your feet on furniture or chew gum in public

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