Can I call my boss by his first name?
In Zeiten der Globalisierung werden interkulturelle Aspekte immer wichtiger. Annika L. befindet sich in einer Situation, die immer häufiger vorkommt und die einiges an Fingerspitzengefühl verlangt.
"One of our company’s American managers is staying at our subsidiary for a month. He wants to be called by his first name, Mike, and he calls me by my first name. My boss has started using my first name whenever the American is present. I have never used my boss’s first name.
It doesn’t feel right. I know most people are on first-name terms in the USA, but can I just start calling my boss Heinz?"
I used to work for an American company in Germany. We secretaries were also called by our first names by the American management and our German bosses joined them. I’m ashamed to say we often avoided talking to them directly, which is no answer!
If I were in the same situation today, I would talk openly to my boss. I’d say, "Herr Pohl, now we’re speaking so much English in the office, I think we should have a talk about whether to use first names. What do you think?" The subject is then out in the open. But talk about it soon. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is likely to become.