Living & Working in Germany: Process Orientation

von Jenny Sandhaas

Process Orientation

Despite their love of nerve-rattling complexity and a tendency towards always sticking to the process (even when it doesn’t make sense), I do SOLEMNLY appreciate the German way of doing business. Solemnity is a key issue - after all we wouldn’t want to irritate anyone with a bit of humor just when they are coming to the point in a lengthy treatise we may already have ceased to follow due to the utter inundation with FACTS therein! Germans take their business, their customers and themselves seriously. They can listen for hours, absorbing content and information with incredible endurance while the more feeble constitution of the usual English speaker would have broken into self-pity and lack of concentration long ago.

HONESTY and directness prevail throughout business communication. English speakers can profit and learn from the Germans here. However, when it comes to explaining something understandably, clarity disappears and simplicity is lost to the PROCESS. The overriding fear of doing something wrong can prevent anything at all from happening – without action, the process stagnates! Americans MAKE decisions while the British TAKE them. Germans positively ENGINEER them, leaving nothing (I mean nothing!) to chance or the whim of the moment.