Test your Knowledge of Dutch Culture
- True or False? Another name for the Netherlands is Holland.
- True or False? The Netherlands ranks among the top 12 trading nations in the world.
- True or False? The Netherlands is part of NATO.
- Guard your words carefully. The Dutch highly value honesty and will take your statements at face value. Avoid exaggeration or misinformation as well. Make sure every point is substantiated by real data.
- While Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands, English is also widely understood. Find out from your in-country contacts if translation of your training materials is preferred.
- Outside information is often perceived as risky and viewed with caution. Greater importance is given to facts over emotion. Subjective arguments are not accepted as valid reasoning for decision-making.
- Decision-making is slow and involved, but resolutions are final.
- While it's difficult as a perceived outsider to form relationships with the Dutch, you'll find friendship and mutual respect go a long way in gaining buy-in from your students and local contacts.
- The Dutch favor hierarchy with clearly defined roles and structure.
- Compliments and accolades are paid to the group as a whole, not to individual participants. In the same way, individuals are not singled-out for mistakes-rather, issues are attributed to a faulty system or failed oversight. If you must address an individual's achievements or shortcomings directly, do so in private.
- Consistent with their structured culture, punctuality is of great importance to the Dutch. Planning is a key component of daily life, and time must be used efficiently. In fact, people who arrive late may be assumed to be incompetent or untrustworthy since they are apparently unable to manage their time.
- Spontaneity is not a virtue.
- Dutch communication is straightforward and professional, with preference given to efficiency over pleasantries.
- In some industries, employees with higher rank may dress more casually than lower-level staff. Executives may dress in jeans and a button-up shirt while support staff are in suits.
Knowledge Answers from Above:
- False. Holland, which includes Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and the Hague, is only a part of the Netherlands.
- True. It's also part of the European Community.