Education vs. Experience

Question “After returning to the U.S. after many years of working in the German business context, I was stunned by how immediately I was taken seriously and valued for my extensive experience abroad. In Germany, despite proven work results over six years and my fluent German, I was still regarded as somewhat of an underling […]

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Americans and History

Question „How do Americans understand history? Are they aware that there is a difference between what actually happened and what is written in the history books?“ John Magee This is a question of seriousness and gravity. It goes to the heart of how a people understands itself and others. Although a historian by training, and […]

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Prose Text vs. Diagrams

Question “Why do Americans prefer describing processes in prose text? Germans prefer diagrams, which can then be combined to illustrate processes. The German approach seems to be übersichtlicher (clear, clearly arranged).“ John Magee A interesting point! Germans brief I’ve seen many process documents in both cultures. The Americans seem to use both prose text and illustrations. In […]

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Persuade me nonetheless

Question „How is it that certain Americans ﹣ although they do not understand the subject matter as well as their German counterparts, and have less experience ﹣ are still able to persuade me that their concept, product or service is better?“ John Magee Many times in my work I have heard Germans say: „Our proposals […]

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Personality or Facts

Question “When Americans are in persuasion mode what is more important the power of personality or the power of facts? And why is it so?” John Magee This is an exceptionally critical (as in important) question. It goes to the heart of one of the major divergences in how Americans and Germans persuade. Please read […]

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Audience thinks like them

Question “In my experience, Germans usually try to persuade in a fairly logical manner and in that sense are not dissimilar to Americans. I have noticed a tendency, however, to assume the audience thinks like they do, shares their general views of the world, etc. In selling something (products, ideas) it would seem useful to prepare […]

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Get on the journey!

Question “Both sides need to be willing to change. How can we get them on that journey?” John Magee A change journey, indeed! But not change our own cultures. That is impossible. And not necessary. USA and Germany, two great cultures. Instead, we want to understand the differences in how we think. For there is no action without […]

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Negotiating styles

Question “What are the differences in negotiating styles?” John Magee We at CI have not addressed this topic. Why? We believe that colleagues within companies should not negotiate with each other. However, those same colleagues will negotiate with both suppliers and with customers. And we all can imagine how negotiations would go if folks in […]

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Let’s give it a shot

Question “One line I often hear in the U.S. is „let’s give it a shot“, and „this is simple, let’s make a small commitment and see how it goes.“ Is the core thought here to get the foot in the door and build the relationship with a small, low-risk try-out?” John Magee That is a […]

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Get past the German-No

Question “How can we best get by that initial German-No response?” John Magee First, never assume that the German-No is hard and fast. Often it is simply their immediate response to a question which has been stated to them requiring yes or no. In other words, they feel that they have to make an immediate […]

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