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What makes the Germans tick? – My workshop participants’ insights

I'm not used to arguing with my boss. How can I learn to say 'no'? Can I give my boss feedback and if so, in which way?

  • Understanding of the role of managers in the company is very much of interest, too. As it turns out, managers interpret their roles quite diversely, depending on their respective personality. What all managers seem to have in common, however, is their clear focus on tasks and results. But how to deal with the critical feedback of the boss? Here I can shed some light on the situation: In everyday professional life, German employees are used to getting direct feedback on their performance, and many see critical feedback as a stimulus to develop further.

    German colleagues have learned from an early age to separate factual criticism from personal criticism. The participants of the workshop react with surprise to this explanation, because for most of them criticism of their work always means direct criticism of their person and results in very emotional reactions. Conversely, they are reluctant to give direct feedback, as it goes hand in hand with offending the person.

    In my experience, it is therefore a great challenge for many people with different cultural backgrounds to deal with our direct feedback culture. My workshop participants feel the same way, and they are grateful for my explanations, which helps them to better understand this behaviour. Raising awareness and understanding in intercultural encounters in this way, enables us to change in how we deal with each other. It is an important step on the way to respectful relationships.

    On the basis of this experience, my participants wish that their colleagues and superiors would develop a stronger awareness of the manifold facets that arise in intercultural cooperation and that would make it possible for both sides to approach each other more openly.

    In the end, all participants confirm that they will gain a great deal of knowledge from the workshop and that they will pay particular attention to their personal reliability and structured, independent work in order to build trust in their competencies and their willingness to perform. And they want to try to learn to accept feedback more easily.

    I wish all of them a successful and happy time in our country.