Any successful business person knows that: building strong relationships in Netherlands requires you to be aware of your own culture but also very knowledgeable about the Dutch culture. What can be said for sure about the Dutch is that honesty and openness are vital qualities required to get along with Dutch people. They are keen on a good debate and will be direct to the point of bluntness.
They are also devoted to timekeeping and hate to waste time, so lateness is not well regarded in the Netherlands. Appointments should always be made in advance, even something as simple as meeting for a drink after work.
What qualities do you need to have in order to build effective working relationships with the Dutch? Here you go:
Modesty is highly appreciated and important at all times. On the other hand, ostentatious dressing, speech and mannerisms will be met with suspicion. This is a democratic society where the boss is on the same social footing as his or her employees. Structures within companies are flat and transparency is very important.
If one wants to get along with the Dutch, one must understand the importance of equality in the workplace. The Dutch are great team players and work well with dynamic, approachable, hands-on leaders. Everybody expects to be treated with respect, whatever their status and no manager should expect an elevated status or a better office because of his or her rank. Employees from many different departments may attend negotiation meetings so tasks can be delegated quickly.
3 Strong communication skills
The Dutch are tough negotiators and are notoriously thrifty. They are also willing to experiment and consider new ideas, but only when presented with hard facts and given the opportunity to weigh up all aspects of a situation. In any negotiation, ‘yes’ means yes and ‘no’ means no. If your Dutch counterpart says no, you will have to try another approach.
4 Great team-workers
The Dutch strive for a democratic society, and everyone, regardless of their situation or position, expects to be treated with respect. As a result, the Dutch make excellent team players and most companies use teams in every aspect of their operations. Cross-cultural teams work well together, too, as the language barrier is not usually an issue for the Dutch, who can exist in a multicultural society or environment without any major problems.
As a conclusion, in order to succeed in a Dutch environment you need to be modest, open-minded, organized and practical. The Dutch are all for an egalitarian society where everyone is equal and treated with respect.
If you want to find out more about building relationship across cultures read this article: