Business Etiquette Guide

Business Etiquette Guide

Business Relationships

Many Germans strictly divide their work and private lives. For example, some people might hesitate to speak about their personal income, marital status, political and religious opinions or other matters they consider to be private at work. You may, however, be able to get a conversation going by appealing to your business partners' loyalty to his/her home region and its foods/beverages, way of speaking or sports teams. On the whole, however, Germans tend to be more interested in business-related issues, tasks and problems than on getting to know customers, colleagues and vendors. It may thus take time for German business partners to get to know each other on a personal level. On the other hand, as Germans tend to be rather reliable, a well-established business and personal relationship cannot be disrupted too easily. Business partners usually reward another year of good business relations with a Christmas or New Year's card, newsletter or a small token of appreciation (a local wine, beer, sausage, or baked good, for example).

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