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Executive Presence-Cultural Spotlight: 6 Keys to Understanding German Culture for Better Relationships

by Terri Williams

The United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP) exceeds $16 trillion dollars.  From a cultural perspective there are two amazing data points:  first, 95% of US customers reside outside of its borders; which has an economic impact of more than $15 trillion dollars.  Second, US minority demographics are approaching 40%, which potentially affects 150 million citizens, residents, and employees.  In this light we observe German culture in observance of its formation of 8 Jun 1815.

Germany

Germany Formation

  • Holy Roman Empire 2 February 962
  • German Confederation 8 June 1815
  • Unification 18 January 1871
  • Federal Republic 23 May 1949
  • Reunification 3 October 1990

 

EXECUTIVE PRESENCE PERSPECTIVES

Given demographics shifts, strengthening relationships with customers, peers, and employees of of all cultures is imperative.  Cultural patterns are learned and passed along by way of communication during the course of our socialization, which contributes to our behavior and our perceptions.  Social Psychologist Gerard Hendrik Hofstede identified a number of deep drivers of German culture relative to other world cultures. Here are six of Hofstedes’s  drivers that I feel provide a foundation for interpersonal engagement:

  1. Germany is not surprisingly among the lower power distant countries.  Highly decentralized and supported by a strong middle class, and co-determination rights are comparatively extensive and have to be taken into account by the management. A direct and participative communication and meeting style is common, control is disliked and leadership is challenged to show expertise and best accepted when it’s based on it.
  2. The German society is a truly individualistic one. Small families with a focus on the parent-children relationship rather than aunts and uncles are most common. There is a strong belief in the ideal of self actualization.  Loyalty is based on personal preferences for people as well as a sense of duty and responsibility. This is defined by the contract between the employer and the employee. Communication is among the most direct in the world following the ideal to be “honest, even if it hurts” – and by this giving the counterpart a fair chance to learn from mistakes.
  3. Germany is considered a masculine society. Performance is highly valued and early required as the school system separates children into different types of schools at the age of ten. People rather “live in order to work” and draw a lot of self-esteem from their tasks. Managers are expected to be decisive and assertive. Status is often shown, especially by cars, watches and technical devices.
  4. Germany is among the uncertainty avoidant countries, so there is a slight preference for uncertainty avoidance. In line with the philosophical heritage of Kant, Hegel and Fichte there is a strong preference for deductive rather than inductive approaches, be it in thinking, presenting or planning: the systematic overview has to be given in order to proceed. This is also reflected by the law system. Details are equally important to create certainty that a certain topic or project is well-thought-out. In combination with their low Power Distance, where the certainty for own decisions is not covered by the larger responsibility of the boss, Germans prefer to compensate for their higher uncertainty by strongly relying on expertise.
  5. Germany is a pragmatic country. In societies with a pragmatic orientation, people believe that truth depends very much on situation, context and time. They show an ability to adapt traditions easily to changed conditions, a strong propensity to save and invest, thriftiness, and perseverance in achieving results.
  6. German culture is restrained in nature. Societies with a low score in this dimension have a tendency to cynicism and pessimism. Also, in contrast to indulgent societies, restrained societies do not put much emphasis on leisure time and control the gratification of their desires. People with this orientation have the perception that their actions are restrained by social norms and feel that indulging themselves is somewhat wrong.
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Source: The Hofstede Center


panache-logoTerri L. Williams is an executive presence expert specializing in communications, gravitas, and appearance. She is a seasoned professional with more than 25 years of specialized experience in human resource management and corporate protocol. Terri is also a veteran of the United States Army, with service in domestic and international assignments. As the President and Founder of Panache Career Strategies, LLC, Terri L. Williams leads Executive Presence training programs and seminars that can help you to improve your skills. A leader in facilitating the “gold standard” in a wide range of services focused on solutions for individual, group, customized programs, seminars and keynote speeches. Working with leaders and executives Panache Career Strategies, LLC will support their executive presence goals in communications and gravitas.

©Copyright 2015 Panache Career Strategies, LLC

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12 Week Virtual Course: Professional and Executive Presence (ENROLL TODAY)

12 Week Virtual Course:  Professional and Executive Presence (ENROLL TODAY)

by Terri Williams

12 Week Virtual Course:

Professional and Executive Presence

communications

Panache Career Strategies 12-week virtual Executive Presence Course brings our clients an accelerated learning roadmap that gives them new skills, challenges and support to achieve their goals! Here’s how our 12-week virtual courses work. As a course participant, you’ll receive a packet each week via email (on Saturday) for 12 weeks. In each packet will be the current week’s lesson in your course, along with assorted combinations of exercises, videos, and tools. You’ll work through the lessons at your own pace. We use our moderated online community to share ideas and to ask and answer questions. You don’t have to be at any particular place at any particular time to participate and advance through the lessons. Please write me with your questions about our 12-week virtual courses at terri.williams@panachecareerstrategies.com.

 

REGISTER TODAY

 

virtual learner

 

This course focuses on how to communicate with confidence and poise using transferable-skills training techniques. Every participant has the opportunity to practice in a variety of situations. Making positive first impressions, strong interpersonal communication skills, actions and behaviors in the workplace, and a professional appearance are all critical components for accessing and enhancing Executive Presence. Whether the professional priority is customer service, supervision, team building or leadership, participants benefit from this comprehensive training.

OUR APPROACH

Using the best practices of adult education, this highly interactive workshop enables participants to experience new ways of communicating with effectiveness and greater confidence. Based on our experience, the workshop training modules have been identified as highly relevant for professionals and executives across all industries.

TOPICS COVERED:

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

appearance

Every first impression counts. Whether meeting a new client, team member or boss, for example, from an introduction to a phone call you are constantly judging others and being judged. Remember, you continue to create an impression with people you have known a long time.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS

body language

This phase of our program covers all aspects of interpersonal communication skills. Attention is paid to critical details in each area so that participants can function with ease and comfort in any situation. Communication encompasses a variety of verbal and non-verbal ways you express authority, convey your confidence, and synthesize and articulate your expertise at both formal occasions and during casual situations.

GRAVITAS

entreprenurExecutive Presence is about behaving appropriately in a given place and situation and within the context of the prevailing corporate culture.

PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCE

Image is a perception, an intangible quality that is difficult to define. Integrating technical knowledge and academic identity with professional presence can be a challenge. Projecting Executive Presence and making the right first impression improves both stature and reputation, with increased confidence as a by-product. Participants in this program learn to manage and improve their professional image through training to develop a heightened sense of self-awareness.people-lots

REGISTER TODAY

 

 


panache-logoTerri L. Williams is an executive presence expert specializing in communications, gravitas, and appearance. She is a seasoned professional with more than 25 years of specialized experience in human resource management and corporate protocol. Terri is also a veteran of the United States Army, with service in domestic and international assignments. As the President and Founder of Panache Career Strategies, LLC, Terri L. Williams leads Executive Presence training programs and seminars that can help you to improve your skills. A leader in facilitating the “gold standard” in a wide range of services focused on solutions for individual, group, customized programs, seminars and keynote speeches. Working with leaders and executives Panache Career Strategies, LLC will support their executive presence goals in communications and gravitas.

©Copyright 2015 Panache Career Strategies, LLC. All rights reserved and © Corporate Class Inc. – With exclusive permission. Reproduction or retransmission of the materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, without the prior written consent of the copyright holder, is strictly prohibited and is a violation of copyright law. In all cases, this notice must remain intact. Photograph sources: Google Images. Panache Career Strategies is dedicated to improving the understanding of Executive Presence (EP).

Free Resources

Virtual Courses. Learn the fundamental importance of Professional and Executive presence.

Our Weekly Blog. Receive weekly insights and useful tips on Executive Presence and professional image on our blog

Executive Presence Quiz. Test your executive presence knowledge with this fun and fast quiz. Take the quiz here.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
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