Germany – powerhouse of Europe and pillar of the Eurozone – feels reassuringly familiar. However, despite superficial appearances, this is a country that operates very differently from the USA and Britain. German history is more than a thousand years old and the relatively new German nation-state encompasses an astonishing variety of cultural and regional differences. German society is also in a state of flux, as people respond to immigration and a tough economic climate, and traditional attitudes such as formality and rigid protocol are softening as German business globalizes.
Culture Smart! Germany sets out to show you how to be a good and sensitive guest. With chapters on core values and attitudes, and a practical business briefing, it is a valuable introduction to the German way of life. It tells you what treatment to expect, what pitfalls to avoid, and how to build rapport and credibility with this culturally rich and inventive people at the heart of Europe.
Keep in mind that the Germans still maintain a degree of formality in greetings. Handshaking on arrival and departure is the norm, as is the use of surnames and titles. If you are unsure of a persons title it is considered good form to ask, and not to be in a rush to move to the more informal form of address.