Personal & Social Needs

Helpful Tips

  • The Dutch avoid superlatives. Compliments are offered sparingly, and to say that something is ‘not bad’ is to praise it. A foreigner does not need to worry too much about expressing his opinion or feeling. The Dutch might argue with you, but seldom take offence.
  • The Dutch speak directly and use a lot of eye contact. To a foreigner, they may appear abrupt, but it is just their manner of communicating.
  • Smoking is prohibited in many areas. Always ask before lighting up.
  • Do not discuss money or prices, or ask personal questions when you hardly know someone.


Cultural Dimensions

Geert Hofstede is an influential Dutch psychologist, who studied the interactions between national cultures and organizational cultures. For those who work in international business, it is sometimes amazing how different people in other cultures behave. We tend to have a human instinct that 'deep inside' all people are the same - but they are not. Therefore, if we go into another country and make decisions based on how we operate in our own home country - the chances are we'll make some very bad decisions.


Geert Hofstede's research gives us insights into other cultures so that we can be more effective when interacting with people in other countries. If understood and applied properly, this information should reduce your level of frustration, anxiety, and concern. But most important, Geert Hofstede will give you the 'edge of understanding' which translates to more successful results.


Compare your home culture with your host culture!





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