Expertentipp: Lob und Dank - unterschätzt und doch so wichtig

Jenny Sandhaas

Despite the obvious similarity in cultures, German and English speakers have strongly differing presumptions and expectations about praising and thanking.

English speakers shy away from outright negative feedback. They tend to sandwich nasty, little slices of criticism between lavish layers of praise. –I really admired your presentation at the last meeting. Everyone was so impressed! You could have, however, kept some of those investments a little more under cover. Sure liked your vision for the future, though ...!–

Unsettling if not downright confusing: Germans often seem to regard praising – and even thanking – as an unnecessary frill, a form of extreme self-compromise or worse, a subversive way of getting other people to do what you want them to!

Contrary to popular opinion, expressing appreciation (nearly untranslatable into German) does NOT generally weaken your position. No wonder that leaders are sometimes at a loss for the language of positive feedback when the situation calls for it:

–Thanks so much for doing (or having done!) such a great job on this!–
–On behalf of the whole staff I–d like to thank you once again for choosing us!–
–We want you to know just how much we appreciate you / your business / trust in us!–
–What an excellent strategy! Thank you for sharing it!–