Once Germans have made a commitment, they begin immediately doing their part. And because they work independently, including little communication with the other parties to the agreement, it is essential that they have as much information upfront as possible.
Anecdote: Friendly interrogation. I take the train up the Ruhr Area. A meeting with one of Germany’s largest multinational companies. Thus far they are satisfied with my work. A new contact, high-level engineer, perhaps a new client.
We meet in his office, sit at a round table, drink tea. We talk. His questions are direct, precise, bordering on penetrating. The tone, however, is friendly, probing. Before I realize it an hour has gone by. The questions keep coming, one after the other. About my background, methodology, how I execute seminars and specialized workshops. Then about my content, my research approach. What? How? Why?
Question after question, almost like an interrogation. He wants to understand. I become a bit fatigued, but remain fully focused, maintain eye contact, respond as precisely as my German will allow. The meeting is tiring, he keeps me on my toes. At the same time the atmosphere is friendly, respectful, at a high level.
The German manager is above average in height, slender, his eyes sensitive, curious, listening. Not distrustful, skeptical but careful. In the weeks thereafter we would meet several times more. Each talk of lesser intensity. Then the decision. Positive. I went on to serve him and his organization for several years without interruption. Front loading.