No holds barred! The country needs more personality!

July 8, 2014

Everyone likes to be appreciated and accepted.

Sounds logical, doesn’t it?


And yet, during the many years I have worked as a trainer, I keep on noticing that we often hide our personality behind the protective casing of a supposed feeling of superiority, using over-complicated specialist language or insisting on professional skills. Instead of flat hierarchies and the kind of relaxed conversational tone to be found in American or Dutch companies, here we build a tangible wall so that we can position ourselves in this way as a competent person deserving of respect.

As a result, our true personality is barely recognizable, and the atmosphere in companies is therefore often chilly. This encourages everyone to keep each other at arm’s length and, of course, promotes misunderstandings which ultimately also cost money. A culture of holding back and avoidance is another side-effect. 

But against the background of the increasingly obvious demographic changes here and the associated shortage of managers and skilled staff, it is, I feel, becoming more and more important to counter this with creative accents. How does this snapshot of the avoidance culture affect potential foreign job applicants, whom we will soon urgently need? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to offer people not only professional and monetary incentives, but also an improved quality of life in the form of a more agreeable atmosphere at the workplace?

I know an example of a Dutch advertising agency that ties the office desks to the ceiling at 6 p.m. in order to start a yoga course for everyone, which is intended to encourage the community spirit.
In one of the daily newspapers I recently read that apprentices are provided with a laptop and a small company car if they decide to join the company in question. The time will soon come when companies will have to apply to those seeking work and not the other way around. Many people cannot yet conceive of this, from their current viewpoint.


The first step in the right direction, for me, is to start by creating a more human conversational tone amongst the management personalities. We need to develop more tolerance towards people who think differently and with different mentalities, and start integrating humour sensibly into everyday working life. Personalities who show such openness to the outside world are bound to have a more sophisticated effect in Germany. Creating your own profile, showing your personality: Welcome!



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