Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'culture'.
Found 1 result
I'm a U.S. expat who has been here in Germany for some time now, although for most of my "German life" I have been working with U.S. companies (remotely.) For the last three years, I've changed to more traditional jobs in Germany (albeit, "traditional" prior to the pandemic) - where I'm working with Germans, in a German environment. To make matters worse, these years have been spent in German academia, versus typical corporate culture (which is where I worked with the U.S. companies.) In German social life, I've learned that the subtleties and expectations of interaction are slightly different than in the U.S. For example, a person would never remind a stranger to pick up their trash in the U.S. This would go beyond rude, to border on fightin' words! But here in Germany, it is considered quite reasonable. I bring this up not as a complaint, but as a recognition that all of the subtle cultural and social queues I have learned as "appropriate" and even "required for success" are quite different here. I'm finding this especially difficult in the work place. For example... In U.S. corporate culture, it is expected - if you want to be successful - that people automatically take the initiative and self-assign leadership roles. When you see organization needed, you organize. If your team doesn't know what to do, and you do (or think you do) - you take charge and try to get the team moving in the right direction. No one will "tell" you this. It is certainly not written down anywhere. But it is such a subtle, critical social expectation - that failing to do so will ensure you never get promoted. The ability to show leadership, to get people to follow you, and take control of projects is mandatory for success. It's how you tell the "quality" people from the people who won't make it through the next set of cuts. So, in my new work here, I did this instinctively (as I have at every successful job I've had) and discovered this was seen as quite inappropriate. Attempting to "take charge" - when authority had not been specifically assigned - was quite a faux pas. I'm not clear if this is a "German thing", or if this was isolated to German academia, or if it was just this particular environment (which was very focused on a having a "flat hierarchy.") So these are my questions! What are the subtle, unspoken expectations for success in German companies? How/where can I learn them? (I don't have another 40 years to absorb them organically, like I did growing up in the U.S: :D) Any good articles on the subject?