- Direct Communication: German communication styles are frank and direct. They generally speak the truth clearly and arrive straight to the point without using much tact to cushion their words. This approach can feel blunt to a non-German, but it’s simply their way of ensuring clear communication.
- Personal Space: Germans are generally accustomed to having smaller proximities of personal space than Australians. That being said, they still do not appreciate it being invaded by others.
- Punctuality: Germans are extremely punctual and may view those who are late as unreliable.
- Expression: Many Germans reserve smiles for friends and laugh less than Australians do during conversation. While Germans consider this more serious exterior a reflection of the sincerity of friendships, it can make Australians feel uncomfortable or intimidated as they might interpret it as them being stiff or unfriendly.
- Eye Contact: When being sincere or speaking of something serious, it is important to maintain eye contact. Avoiding eye contact is seen as an indication of dishonesty or a lack of confidence.
- Gesture: Touching your index finger to your thumb in a circle to demonstrate ‘Okay’ or ‘Good’ can be misunderstood.
- Crossing Fingers: Instead of crossing the index finger and middle finger to indicate hoping for something or “Good Luck”, Germans squeeze the tip of their thumb between those two fingers. Letting one’s thumb protrude too far from between the fingers can be an obscene gesture, so only the tip should be visible.
- Pointing: Some Germans use their little/pinkie finger to point.