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Cultural Training in Holland


Cultural Training in Holland

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Cultural Training in the Netherlands

Doing business in Holland isn't like going on holiday: don't expect to get by with knowledge of a few words, and don't assume business is conducted in the same way universally.

But how can you properly prepare to set up a business in the Netherlands? There are many cultural training companies and schools which can help you. They offer cross-cultural grounding, bridging the translatory and protocolic gaps between nations and people.

Providing guidance in all areas of business and sociality, these cultural training companies are experts when it comes to negotiation training; management training; and diversity training. All training, of course, can be country-specific.

Tutorials can take many forms, so investigate which will be right for you and, if necessary, your employees.

Business Etiquette in the Netherlands

The formalities and informalities; the how d'you dos and how d'you don'ts. Etiquette is one of the foundations of modern civilisation, and business is no exception. A business blunder, in some countries, could mean the difference between a deal and disrepute. Again, its all about culture if not adopting, at least recognising and respecting the traditions and protocols of a people.

Business etiquette in the Netherlands is key to building important business relationships. The Dutch have particular ways of behaving and expect you to do the same. These can be broken down into a few basic rules:

  • Dutch do not touch each other and can be offended if you touch them.

  • They maintain a proper distance from each other, respect their personal space.

  • The Dutch value their personal time. It is not a good idea to ask them to work overtime or at weekends. This will only turn a working relationship sour.

  • Avoid asking personal questions. This is seen as an invasion of their private lives.

  • Always appear modest.

  • Your word is your bond.

When greeting a person shake their hand, smile and maintain eye contact. Do not touch them apart from to shake their hand. Avoid booking appointment between June to August as this will often used as holiday time. Never be late for a meeting as this will be seen as you being untrustworthy or unable to meet deadlines. If you expect to be late phone immediately to explain and do not cancel at the last minute.

In a meeting there is little time for small talk as they like to get on with doing the business, however business can be conducted slowly as they want every detail, fact and figure and to understand every essential part of the business. Also everyone who the decision make effect will be consulted, making the decision making process longer. The Dutch will not respond well to high pressure sales tactics or confrontational behaviour. Once a decision is made it will be stuck to and contracts are strictly enforced.

Dress smart and conservatively. Business correspondence, literature and business cards should be in Dutch and English as a sign of respect to the other person.

Being well mannered, polite and respectful of those around you and their cultural differences will help you to build important business relationships.

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