Why are some Americans generally superficial

Business culture in the USA: Think positive! And yes, that's you!

The "American Way of Life" sounds worth emulating: Americans are always optimistic, active and oriented towards their own happiness. But is this way of life also anchored in the business culture of the USA? During my last trip to the States, I had some interesting experiences about what matters in business across the Atlantic. I was a participant of the "Startup and Entrepreneur Program" the US Chamber of Commerce. The one-week business trip to New York was organized by NRW.International as part of the NRW foreign trade promotion.

At the many business meetings in the USA, I quickly realized one thing: many things are very different in American business life than in Germany. The most obvious difference for me is that "Doing Business" massively there Networking connected is. The American expert on business etiquette, Jacqueline Whitmore, actually recommends using 30 percent of your daily work routine to cultivate professional relationships - and also to work on your own network as much as possible in your free time. In contrast to Germany, networking is much easier in the USA. Because Americans are real experts at "Socializing". Whether in meetings or at conferences: For you, small talk is the absolute standard in business and therefore an integral part of every business appointment. For Germans the so-called works "Working the crowd" often very superficial. In the USA, however, it is completely normal to come to a table for a moment, introduce yourself, have some small talk and then head for the next round of talks.

This supposed superficiality has a decisive advantage: It is much easier in the USA to approach people and make interesting contacts than in Germany. But beware of faux pas: As relaxed and open-minded as the people in the USA seem - there are a number of topics of conversation that should remain taboo in everyday business life. Grumbling about the American presidential candidates is just as inappropriate as talking about religion or sex. In the USA, too, the following applies to small talk: Harmless things like sports, weather or news from Germany are always possible. However, one shouldn't complain too much - for example about politics or traffic in this country. Because "Think positive", this creed of the American lifestyle, also and especially applies in the business world.

Another characteristic of American business is mine with one "Pitch Night" In front of around 80 invited guests from the New York start-up scene noticed: While many startups in Germany present themselves in a very factual and detail-oriented manner, revenue is what counts for American investors. The often vaunted German thoroughness, on the other hand, can be a disadvantage in the USA and long explanations of technical features tend to deter American investors. It's better to get down to business quickly, think big and convey a clear vision. It occurs primarily in the US rapid growth and a concrete profit expectation at. Therefore, German entrepreneurs should go into their presentation absolutely perfectly prepared: Sales figures and the specific benefit for the target group must be direct and clear can be named. At the same time, there is more going on in the USA than in Germany the right “story” for the product or service. Cocky visions are welcome - as long as they are fact-based and conveyed with a little more pathos than in Germany.

Nobody should be too concerned about the differences in business culture between Germany and the USA. Because the Americans are generally not resentful and like to overlook one or the other faux pas in business life. The condition for this, however, is the willingness to work on oneself. And Germans could start with that at home.

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