Your profile suggests that you are oriented towards relationships.
People from Netherlands tend to score highly towards rules on this dimension.
Dimension explanation (Universalism/Particularism)This dimension concerns the standards by which relationships are measured.
Universalist societies are based on rules: their members tend to feel that general rules and obligations are a strong source of moral reference. They are inclined to follow the rules and look for "the one best way" of dealing equally and fairly with all cases (even when friends are involved). They assume that their standards are the right standards, and they attempt to change the attitudes of others to match theirs.
Particularist societies are predominatly based on relationships: particular circumstances that lead to exceptions are more important than rules. Bonds of exceptional relationships (family, friends) are stronger than any abstract rules, therefore the response to a situation may change according to the circumstances and the people involved. The members of particularist/relationship based societies often argue “it all depends.”
ImplicationsPeople from your profile are relatively more relation oriented compared to the average for Netherlands.
You will be doing business with people who focus more on written rules and who respect them. Legal contracts are more likely to be negotiated fully and adhered to more strictly. They are unlikely to change or amend contracts and are not likely to be influenced by the relationship you develop with them. They may have a more strict, rigid and disciplined view of life which you may find difficult at first.
When doing business with people from Netherlands:
- strive for consistency and uniform procedures
- institute formal ways of changing the way business is conducted
- modify the system so that the system will modify you
- signal changes publicly
- seek fairness by treating all like cases in the same way
- be prepared for professional arguments and quicker negotiations
- don't take any direct attitude as rude
- carefully consider or prepare the legal aspects (with an advisor if necessary).
- aim for consistency with all employees
- be more formal in your approach including your approach to change
- document any performance issues including appraisals.
Meetings tend to follow strict protocols.The need to follow rules and procedures is clearly reflected in the clear meeting protocol followed in the Netherlands. Agendas are sent in advance and will be followed clearly. Detailed minutes will also be officially recorded.
Every person has the right to speak in a meeting.Dutch meetings are generally based on the principle of equality, which means that every person attending a meeting has a right to voice their opinion, add comments and offer advice. However, there are always a number of key figures who speak more than others.
Involving all stakeholders in setting objectives will ensure greater cooperation and buy-in.Although some may view all the meetings in the Netherlands as a waste of time and energy, greater cooperation will be the result. An English manager who had some understanding of the Dutch propensity for frequent meetings once commented, "If you want them to obey your orders, let them do their talking first and you will have fewer problems in getting them to do what you want."
Managers are expected to agree on the objectives of a project with their subordinates.Management by objectives is an important way of increasing individual freedom and discretion. Dutch employees like to discuss the objectives of a project and reach agreement on them with their superiors, but they then prefer to be left alone to get on with the job, discipline themselves and deliver on the agreement made. They do not appreciate constant supervision by superiors. They do not like to be pushed or pressured. If speed is important it should be part of the initial agreement, not introduced after the job has begun.
Get down to business right away.It is not common to talk about unrelated matters which will make the negotiation lose focus. Unlike more relationship-oriented countries where small talk is important, relationship-building will occur simultaneously with the negotiation of contract terms.
Offering expensive gifts or gratuities are considered inappropriate.The Dutch have a very strong sense of justice and a separation between personal relationships and business is very important. As such, giving gifts or gratuities at the beginning of the negotiation process may be perceived negatively. In some industries, gifts are tokens of appreciation of the relationship, but these gifts are generally of a lesser financial value.Although gift-giving may be common in relationship-oriented countries, big and expensive gifts may be perceived as attempts to influence the outcome of a negotiation. Gift-giving may also undermine the confidence the business contract.
The contract is King.Contracts are taken literally. What the words say must be done, nothing more, nothing less. Courts are generally reluctant to interpret or infer meaning in a contract and will stick to the letter of the law. The parties who made the agreement are expected to abide by it. Dutch people are not afraid of lawsuits, when in doubt, stick to the contract.
Individualism Group focus
Your profile suggests that you have a strong orientation towards groups.
People from Netherlands tend to score highly towards individuals on this dimension.
Dimension explanation (Individualism/Communitarianism)This dimension is about the conflict between an individual's personal desires and the interests of the group to which one belongs to. Do people primarily regard themselves as individuals or as part of a group?
In a predominantly individualistic culture, people are expected to make their own decisions and to only take care of themselves and their immediate family. Personal freedom and individual development are the fundamental to get a higher quality of life. Decisions are often made on the spot, without consultation, and deadlocks may be resolved by voting.
In contrast to this, members of a predominantly group oriented society place the interest of the community before the individual, whose main responsibility is to serve the group. By doing so, individual needs will be taken care of naturally. The quality of life for the individual is seen as directly dependent on the degree to which he or she takes care of fellow members, even at the cost of individual freedom. People are are mainly oriented towards common goals and objectives. They are judged by the extent to which they serve the interest of the community, that provides help and protection in exchange for a strong sense of loyalty. Negotiation is often carried out by teams, who may withdraw in order to consult with reference groups. In the decision making process, discussion is used to reach consensus.
ImplicationsPeople from your profile are more oriented towards groups compared to the average for Netherlands.
You will be doing business with people with people who are relatively more happy when they are achieving on their own and take individual responsibility. A statement that is made does not require consultation with others, even if made by a junior. He or she is likely to take decisions on the spot without consultation with others.
When doing business with people from Netherlands:
- sprepare for quick decisions and sudden offers not referred to HQ
- negotiator can commit those who sent him or her is very reluctant to go back on an undertaking
- the toughest negotiations were probably already done within the organization while preparing for the meeting. You have a tough job selling them the solution to this meeting
- conducting business alone means that this person is respected by his or her company and has its esteem
- the aim is to make a quick deal.
- continually adjust individual needs to organisationl needs
- use individual targets and achievement awards, individual appraisals
- use a management by objectives approach.
Decision-making may take a long time and require many meetings.As a result of the equality principle applied during meetings in the Netherlands (where each individual has the opportunity to share his/her views), many meetings may have to be scheduled before decisions are taken. Unless everyone has had the opportunity to share their views and an issue is discussed from all angles, it will be difficult to get commitment to decisions. It may take two to four meetings to sign a contract, close a deal or get the details of a contract right.
Speak your mind - telling the truth is highly valued in the Netherlands.Telling the truth at all times is considered very important in the Netherlands. A reliable person is one who expresses the same consistent view both in the public meeting room and in private conversations for others. Anybody who says one thing in a meeting and something else in a private conversation outside the meeting is a hypocrite in Dutch eyes. In some other cultures, however, people are not really comfortable giving their honest opinion in a meeting, especially if they think the other members of their team might disagree. For them, expressing their true opinion privately outside of a meeting is the more acceptable approach to take.
Expect every individual in the meeting to air his/her opinions openly.Opinions are often expressed very openly, sometimes to the point of bluntness, during meetings in the Netherlands. Every individual is afforded the opportunity to air his/her personal view. The Dutch tend to separate their personal relationships with others from issues and opinions. These direct opinions are thus not meant as personal insults and should not be interpreted as such.
Praise and acknowledgement of achievements is uncommon in the Netherlands.The equality principle means, almost unavoidably, that anyone sticking out above the rest is in danger of being knocked back down. Systems of remuneration that emphasize individual achievements frequently produce mixed feelings in the Netherlands, and problems can be expected unless the achievement is accomplished with very limited involvement by others. Dutch managers will also rarely praise an employee in the presence of others. In order to avoid any charges of favoritism such praise will only be conferred in private conversations. For the foreigner, the Dutch tendency towards criticism even after a job has been well done is very noticeable. 'Playing down good performance' is something of a natural habit.
The Work Council has a lot of influence on decision-making in companies.The Work Council (in Dutch the 'Ondernemings-Raad') is difficult to grasp for managers from cultures with a more individualistic orientation. The Work Council gives employees the right to challenge management and influence key decisions in the company. Dutch law requires that in organizations with more than 50 employees, workers have the right to participate in the operation of their company. The Work Council should be involved in decisions such as large-scale reorganization, mergers, and changes in management that affect the business.
A good manager in the Netherlands ensures everyone has their say.The Dutch tend to resist any approach that seems even slightly authoritarian or hierarchical. These two things limit the freedom of the individual. An ideal manager in the Netherlands is someone who can involve his or her entire staff in the tasks that have to be done. Under the manager's leadership, staff members do not do what the manager has asked but what, after long deliberation, seems to be the best for everyone. When management and workers cannot agree about things among themselves, a consultant is often brought in as an impartial mediator.
The Dutch negotation team is composed of individual experts.In the Netherlands, a number of people will generally participate in important negotiations. These people, however, participate as individuals, with each having a specific area of expertise for which he or she is responsible. This differs from the Japanese, for whom the responsibility lies with the collective and is expressed by the delegation leader. Moreover, the Dutch delegation makes no secret of who is responsible for what. Therefore, prior to the start of negotiations, the Dutch take time to come to a mutual agreement about how the unit should present itself to the outside world.
Individual negotiators have decision-making power.Unlike more group-orientated cultures, negotiators in the Netherlands tend to have the individual mandates for making decisions during negotiations. This means that negotiators will try to find out who the other party's key negotiator is and try to close the deal as soon as possible.
Specific High involvement
Your profile suggests that your orientation is balanced between a low and high involvement in business.
People from Netherlands tend to adopt a very low personal involvement towards business on this dimension.
Dimension explanation (Specific/Diffuse)Generally, people from specific oriented cultures begin by looking at each element of a situation. They concentrate on hard facts, analyze the elements separately, then put them back together again, viewing the whole as the sum of its parts.
People from diffusely oriented cultures see each element in the perspective of the complete picture. All elements are related to each other and they can be combined into a whole which is more than simply the sum of its parts.
This dimension also concerns the degree to which we involve others in relationships: do we engage them in specific areas of life and single levels of personality or do we involve them in multiple areas of our lives and several levels of personality at the same time?
Specifically oriented individuals are "low involvement": they engage others in specific areas of life, affecting single levels of personality. In such cultures, a manager separates the task relationship with a subordinate from the private sphere.
Diffusely oriented individuals are "high involvement": they engage others in multiple areas of life, displaying several levels of personality at the same time. In these cultures, every life space and every level of personality tends to be interwoven.
ImplicationsAlthough people from your profile score towards the middle of this dimension, people from Netherlands adopt a lower degree of personal involvement.
You will be doing business with people who appear relatively open and direct right from the start. They may appear abrasive, to the point and more extrovert. Do not mistake this behaviour for them being insincere or transparent.
They will have a distinct division between home and work life and will be highly mobile. They will present the same comments regardless of to whom, where and how they are presenting their case.
When doing business with people from Netherlands:
- study the core of the business. Take the 5 main points of the goal into the meeting with you;
- be efficient, quick and to the point. Be polite of course. Keep private or social matters until after the meeting;
- start the meeting with reference to an agenda and duration;
- be prepared to be quick, to the point and efficient;
- structure the meeting with time, intervals and agendas;
- make less use of titles or acknowledge skills that are irrelevant to the issue being discussed;
- do not be offended by confrontations; they are usually not personal.
- manage through specific, concrete objectives with associated rewards;
- keep business and private goals separate;
- minimise use of titles;
- begin reports with an executive summary;
- management is the realization of objectives and standards with rewards attached;
- conflicts of interest are frowned upon;
- clear, precise and detailed instructions are seen as assuring better compliance, or allowing employees to dissent in clear terms.
It is not common to criticize someone's work in a meeting.The Dutch view an idea as separate from the person who expresses it. Consequently, an opinion about the idea is not an opinion about the person having the idea. However, when a person's work is criticized, it will be done in a polite way.
The Dutch are very direct and straightforward.The very specific nature of the Dutch makes them one of the most straightforward people in Europe. For the Dutch to speak plainly is a matter of respect, even affection. Diplomacy for the Dutch is often seen as avoiding the issue and therefore disrespectful.
A "how was your weekend" on Monday morning does not mean your Dutch counterpart want to know you more personally.People from relationship-oriented cultures may sometimes be confused by Dutch behavior. This is probably because the Dutch, on the surface, often give the impression that they are more relationship-focused. An example of this is a ritual that is often played out each Monday morning at the office: somebody asks someone else how the weekend was. The simple answer of 'good' is not enough for the Dutch. They will continue to ask questions as a sign of sincere interest in the other person. This can be experienced as intrusive and nosy, or it can be interpreted as a move to a more diffuse type of relationship. For the Dutch, however, this type of interaction does not imply a desire for a more personal relationship. The intention is only to have a friendly working relationship.
It is not uncommon for team members to (respectfully) challenge the ideas of their managers and supervisors.Employees are often invited to provide feedback to their managers on ideas and plans. However, any kind of criticism or feedback should be presented openly, respectfully and followed by ideas for improvement or change.
Get down to business quickly.It is important to get down to business as quickly as possible. Although the Dutch are interested in the person on the other side of the table, their interest is focused on doing business. The agreement that the Dutch aim for will contain elements that, to a certain degree, extend recognition of the other party's needs.
For the Dutch, business and pleasure are separated.For the Dutch negotiator, the relationship with the negotiating partner is specific to business. He or she will therefore try as much as possible to keep other matters out of it. Work (the business negotiations) and pleasure (for example, dining out) each have their own place and, of the two, work has priority. Money and time should not be spent on meals and conversations that are not centered around the business at hand. The Dutch negotiator will probably feel uncomfortable mixing business with pleasure. He or she prefers to keep these things quite separate.
Neutral Emotions expressed
Your profile suggests that you adopt a high tendency to conceal emotions.
People from Netherlands tend to adopt a high tendency to conceal emotions.
Dimension explanation (Neutral/Affective)This dimension focuses on the degree to which people express emotions, and the interplay between reason and emotion in human relationships.
In affective cultures, emotions are spontanously displayed: moods and feelings aren't hidden or bottled up. On the contrary, the expression of emotions is acceptable or even required, as a sign of sincerity, attachment to what you are doing and a factor of trust.
In the so called neutral cultures, people are more reserved and don't openly display emotions as they are taught that it is incorrect to overtly show them. Not expressing emotions is seen as a positive sign of self-control and reason dominates one's interaction with others.
ImplicationsPeople from your profile score similar on this dimension to the average from Netherlands.
You may not be aware of the importance of how emotions are displayed when doing business with these cultures because it is of a similar degree to your own. However, now we have drawn your attention to the importance of emotion as a sign of non-verbal leakage, you may find it helpful to consider what extra information you can gain from emotions when doing business.
Also, please study the other dimensions where you may score more differently to your business partner(s).
Body language such as gestures and facial expressions tend to be modest and reserved.People from more expressive countries such as Spain or Italy, might be confused by the subtle use of body language in conversations. A Dutchman who is listening attentively is likely to do so silently, and preferably, he/she will remain motionless. When speaking, (s)he may emphasize his /her argument with hand gestures; however, this will always be done in a controlled manner, using mid-range gestures.
Overt display of emotion is considered inappropriate and unprofessional.The Dutch believe that business can only be conducted smoothly when emotions are left out of it. Business is business; it is not personal. The ability to constrain one's emotions is considered a sign of strength, credibility and professionalism.
In general, the Dutch tend to be reserved in showing emotions.The Dutch may be perceived as somewhat cold and detached due to the fact that they tend to exert a high level of control over their emotions. During formal meetings, excessive enthusiasm or other emotional displays may be perceived as unprofessional.
Keep your cool.A Dutch manager, under all circumstances, must keep his cool. When tensions rise, it is the task of the manager to stay calm and rise above the situation so that the problems can be solved in a rational manner. The manager's credibility in these situations depends on how well he has succeeded in adopting a neutral stance in his daily dealings with employees.
Dutch businessmen show interest by continuing discussion, not by showing enthusiasm.To negotiators from cultures that are more open in showing their emotions, the Dutch may be perceived as disinterested. The Dutch will show their interest by continuing to discuss the business at hand. In negotiations with the Dutch, it is best not to show too much excitement if you are still not sure if you want to go further with an offer or suggestion. Saying 'no' after showing a lot of initial enthusiasm will give the Dutchman the impression that you cannot be trusted.
Animated gesturing and show of emotions during negotiations may be perceived as insincere.Rational arguments make a much greater impact on the Dutch negotiator than emotional appeals. This is true for both positive and negative expressions of affect. Emotion quickly confuses the Dutch negotiator and can even arouse feelings of distrust. An emotional negotiator runs the risk of being viewed as inappropriate and "a wolf in sheep's clothing". Such behavior will probably result in loss of respect and trust. This is especially true when emotions and facts are mixed together. Facts, when they are soberly presented and logically explained, will give the Dutch negotiator the certainty of knowing where things stand with his negotiating partner. Only when the business end of things is clear and regulated will the Dutchman be much more open to the more personal side of doing business together.
Achievement Who people are
Your profile suggests that you strive to achieve more than use your given status.
People from Netherlands tend to adopt a high achievement orientation (what they do).
Dimension explanation (Achievement/Ascription)This dimension focuses on how personal status is assigned.
In "achievement-oriented" societies the status is a reflection of performance, of what an individual does and has accomplished. In short, "you are what you do."
On the other hand, in the so called "ascribed" cultures, status is a reflection of what you are and how the other individual within a group (community and/or organization) relate to you. Factors like age, class, gender, education, etcetera are fundamental in attributing status. In short, taking it to the extreme, in this type of culture "you are what you are from birth."
ImplicationsAlthough people from your profile tend to rely more on who you are than the average from Netherlands, in many respects your approach to how you acquire ad use your status is relatively similar.
Also, please study the other dimensions where you may score more differently to your business partner(s).
Age and gender are not equated with experience and authority.People from more ascription-oriented societies may find the level of equality during meetings surprising. Respect is something to be earned on the basis of one's achievements in the Netherlands and is not necessarily afforded on the basis of one's age or seniority. Many young professionals do not recognize the older generation as more experienced or wiser than themselves.
The most senior person may not necessarily be the chairman in a meeting.It is not a given that the manager, because of his status, will chair a meeting himself or appoint the chairman. Expertise or a special interest or involvement in the matter under discussion can be the reason for chairing a meeting. At other times, it is just a matter of turn-taking; if everyone is considered equal, it follows that each person should have a turn.
The Dutch society is becoming increasingly egalitarian.Over the past two decades, the business environment has shifted significantly. In the past, age and gender were core determinants of one's seniority. However, in the present environment, positions of responsibility and seniority are increasingly afforded to females and young persons. There has been a greater shift to personal achievements rather than ascribed status earned by one's background.
Everybody is equal…to a certain extent.The equality principle is so fundamental for the Dutch that the experience of great hierarchical differences can be very confrontational. A Dutch managing director will not easily allow his chauffeur to wait outside in the car while he himself remains busy for hours in the office. The idea of separate dining areas for senior and junior personnel is unacceptable in the Netherlands. Only in exceptional circumstances will a lunch or dinner be served in the boardroom, and then it is usually for guests.
Dutch managers are in general very approachable.A Dutch manager is just like any other employee in terms of accessibility. You may run into him in a corridor, or he may casually drop in on the various departments under his supervision and chat with the people there. This interaction with the employees is not so that everyone knows who the big boss is but is really just a natural expression of the egalitarian ethos so prevalent in the Netherlands.
Do not feel offended if your counterparts do not approach the person with the highest status in your negotiating team.People from cultures where status and position is very important may find the Dutch approach to negotiations offensive. The Dutch generally do not pay much attention to status, position or rank and all members in a negotiating team are treated as equals. This may lead to a situation where meeting protocols that are associated with position and power are ignored. If this is the case, be aware that your Dutch counterpart may not know that he/she is causing offence. By engaging in a dialogue with your counterpart, you can create a mutually acceptable negotiating protocol that respects the values of both sides.
The members of a Dutch negotiating team generally have equal decision-making power.There is little point in trying to identify who has the highest status on a team of Dutch negotiators because the power and influence of the team leader is somewhat relative. Mostly members of a team already discussed up front which direction they want to go in a negotiation. You should try to get the majority of the group, if you wish to influence the decision making.
Your profile suggests that you have a high orientation towards the future.
People from Netherlands tend to be more future than past oriented.
Dimension explanation (Past,Present,Future)This dimension reflects the relative importance given to past, present and future.
If a culture is predominantly oriented towards the past, the future is often seen as a repetition of past experiences.
In a culture predominantly oriented towards the present, day-by-day experiences tend to direct people's lives.
In a future-oriented culture, most human activities are directed toward future prospects. In this case, the past is not considered to be vitally significant to the future.
In business, this may manifest:
- for past oriented cultures as emphasis on projects successfully completed as evidence of capability;
- for present societies as a "come and see what we are doing now" approach;
- for future oriented cultures through emphasis on research and innovation.
ImplicationsAlthough people from your profile tend to focus more on the future than the average from Netherlands, in many respects you are relatively similar.
However, even with this similarity, there may be a difference between the time horizons - how long ago the past was and how far away the future is. This can manifest in some cultures that adopt more longer term planning, while others focus on the current quarter's results. Please study the other dimensions where you may score more differently to your business partner(s). Also, review the dimension Single v Multi-tasking as this is another aspect of structuring time and this may be more relevant to you.
Your company's history reflects whether it has a proven track record.Although the Dutch do not give too much importance to the past, they will be interested in finding out about the history of your company. The history and track record of a company provides insight into the reliability of the company and the ability to deliver on promises.
Making and following meeting agendas are common practice in the Netherlands.In the Netherlands, meetings always have an agenda, which is generally put together in advance. When this is not the case, an agenda will be drawn up at the start of the meeting. The agenda provides the participants with a sense of order and certainty without which they would be left wondering about the purpose of meeting. Generally speaking, it is important to stick to the items on the agenda. Typically, the items are addressed one at a time and in sequence.
Be punctual.Punctuality and managing money are two of the most important values in Dutch society. The Dutch love to plan. A plan implies a straight line that runs from the present into the future and which is certain. Each deviation from the line means that the future becomes, to a greater or lesser extent, uncertain. The Dutch believe that uncertainty must be avoided as much as possible. In this sense, they are focused on the future.
Good planning indicates enthusiasm and control of the project.For the average Dutchman a plan is not simply a good intention. It is something that you are really planning to carry out. The Dutch will consider anybody who is constantly busy making plans but who never actually carries them out as someone who cannot be taken seriously. For the Dutch the following rule applies: the more important the business, the more imperative it is to have a plan and follow it. Any agreements that are made relative to the execution of the plan are, by their very nature, binding. Those who do not keep to their agreements create problems for the other people involved. The others are then forced to juggle their own schedules, appointments, or plans. Where the plans have been very precisely worked out, this can only result in further problems. In the Netherlands, therefore, such behavior is regarded as anti-social.
Get down to the business quickly.The Dutch generally do not spend much time socializing before getting down to business. It is quite possible that they will start talking business immediately after introducing themselves. Dutch negotiators pride themselves in being able to quickly judge whether or not they wish to do business with someone. This might be the result of more than 300 years of experience trading all over the world.
Sequential Time: Multi tasking
Your profile suggests that you have a very high orientation to towards single tasking.
People from Netherlands tend to have a very high orientation towards single tasking.
Dimension explanation (Sequential/Synchronic)This dimension focuses on how people structure time, ranging from a sequential/signle task approach to a synchronic/multi tasking one. In business, how people structure time is important with how we plan, strategize and co-ordinate our activities with others.
People who structure time and tasks sequentially view time as a series of passing events. They tend to do one thing at a time, and prefer planning and keeping to plans once they have been made. Time commitments are taken seriously and staying on schedule is a must.
On the other hand, synchronically oriented people view past, present, and future as being interrelated. They usually have a multi-tasking approach and do several things at once. For them, time is flexible and intangilble, therefore they are less concerned about what single-tasking cultures define as punctuality. Time commitments are desirable rather than absolute, plans are easily changed as more value is placed on the satisfactory completition of interaction with others.
ImplicationsPeople from your profile are similar to the average from Netherlands in respect of the degree towards single or multi-tasking.
However, even with this similarity, there may be a difference between the relative imperatives of past, present and future in terms of how time is structured as well as time horizon - how long ago the past was and how far away the future is. This can manifest in some cultures that adopt more longer term planning, while others focus on the current quarter's results.
Please study the other dimensions where you may score more differently to your business partner(s). Also, review the dimension 'Past, Present and Future' as this is another aspect of structuring time and this may be more relevant to you.
Do not let other things distract you in a meeting.The Dutch find it very disturbing when meetings are disrupted by telephone calls or other events. They do not like to have to break things off for the unexpected. It is considered an insult if you allow yourself to be distracted by other things when you are in the middle of a conversation. Giving your full attention to the one with whom you are talking is considered good form.
The Dutch likes to plan things well ahead, from beginning to the end.The Dutch along with the Germans are among the best planners in the world. A strategy or project will be worked out, step by step, as accurately as possible from beginning to end. Those doing the planning aim to leave nothing to chance. An essential part of such planning is the time line by which everything has to happen. This is sequential, which means that a particular step must be completed within a particular period of time, and only then is the following step possible. Naturally, the order is determined in advance.
The Dutch like to put time limits on negotiations.Start and finish times are planned ahead. The efficient use of time is seen as a virtue in Dutch society. Negotiations, however, frequently take considerable time especially if all the stakeholders need to be consulted. For example, in some cases, management is required by law to consult with employees before making a final decision. Obviously, reaching consensus can take time, but the time spent will be regained later because of the ease with which things can be implemented when everyone is in agreement.
Internal control Go with the flow
Your profile suggests that your orientation is balanced between the extremes.
People from Netherlands tend to have a high orientation to taking control.
Dimension explanation (Internal/External)This dimension concerns how people relate to the environment and the perceived degree of control over it.
Internally controlled people have a mechanistic view of nature: it can be dominated once one has understood how it functions by developing suitable instruments for influencing it. This mechanicistic view of the environment favors a feeling of internal control: people seek to take control of their lives and see their own internal perspective as the starting point for determining the ‘right’ action. In business this translates into a "technology push" attitude.
In contrast, cultures with an externally controlled (or organic) view of nature, assume that human beings are controlled by nature and unpredictable external forces such as fate, chance and the power of others. For this reason, they tend to "go with the flow" and orient their actions towards others. In business, this attitude leads to a "market pull" approach, that implies focusing on and responding to the environment and the need of the customers.
ImplicationsAlthough people from your profile score in the middle of this dimension, people from Netherlands are relatively more oriented to Taking Control.
You will be doing business with people who focus relatively more on self or their immediate group. They may appear dominating and also aggressive, especially towards their surroundings. They may seek conflict to improve their bargaining position. They are generally uncomfortable when they are not in control of situations. When doing business with people from Netherlands:
- be prepared for a short hard battle;
- an attack at the right time can expose their weakness;
- a win-lose game is victory for all
- playing 'hard ball' is legitimate to test the resilience of an opponent;
- it is most important to 'win your objective';
- get agreement on and ownership of clear objectives;
- give very clear (even aggressive) directions;
- link bonus with merit system;
- give clear opinion about disagreement e.g. for poor performance;
- get agreement on and ownership of clear objectives;
- make sure that tangible goals are clearly linked to tangible rewards;
- discuss disagreements and conflicts openly; these show that everyone is determined;
- management-by-objectives works if everyone is genuinely committed to directing themselves towards shared objectives and if these persist.
In the Netherlands, one is expected to persuade others of one's standpoint, rather than settle for compromise.In general, Dutch people tend to be more inner-directed in the business environment. One can expect that participants to a meeting will attempt to persuade others of the validity of their opinions, rather than settling for compromise. Maintaining harmony in the group is less important than voicing one's standpoint. However, it is important to remember that differences may exist along different corporate cultures.
The Dutch do not only wait for things to happen, they make them happen.Every attendant of a meeting, however small his/her role, is responsible for achieving the goals and results agreed upon. From early on, the Dutch learn not to simply wait for things to happen. If someone complains afterwards about the outcome, the response will typically be, "You were there". The implied message is, "You were part of it. Why didn't you say nor do something then?"
Meetings are planned well in advance with clear objectives and nothing left to chance.In the Netherlands, it is rare for a meeting to take place that has not been planned in advance. The purpose of a meeting should also always be clearly stated - the Dutch prefer not to leave things to fate or chance and the same applies for meetings. Through a clear agenda, participants can prepare for all eventualities.
Nothing is coincidental.Dutch have a very strong sense of responsibility regarding what goes on in their immediate surroundings. An accident at work will be viewed as the result of human error. For this reason, great care is taken to eliminate uncertainty resulting from the unforeseen. Things are not left to chance. Consequently, expressions such as "an unforeseen convergence of circumstances" and "it could happen to anyone" are rarely heard, and they do not excuse one from accepting responsibility.
The Dutch employees prefer transparent management style.A Dutch employee considers it essential that an assignment is clearly defined. The assignment must be described in the most concrete terms possible. It should also be clear to the employee what the ultimate goal of the assignment is, both organizationally and personally. The Dutch employee's expressed desire for a transparent management style is closely related. Things should not be left to chance, if at all possible.
The Dutch recognize uncertainties, but would like to keep everything under control as much as possible.A good rule of thumb when negotiating contract terms with your Dutch counterparts is to agree on how to deal with unforeseen circumstances. Planning for contingencies or changes in the environment will re-assure your counterpart that you are aware of the risks related to the agreement and that you are willing to take responsibility for achieving the desired results. Negotiators from externally-oriented countries should heed the following advice when doing business with Dutch partners. No matter how contradictory it may seem, make a plan with your Dutch counterpart, in which you agree on how to deal with unforeseen circumstances. In this way, you build as much certainty into the process as possible, and you assure your Dutch partner that both you and your organization are fully aware of the possible risks, and that you are prepared to accept responsibility for producing the desired results. Indicate as specifically as possible what the risks are, to what extent they are out of your control, and what relationship exists between the risks and the desired results. In terms of results,do not be ambiguous. Show concretely what the minimum result will be. The Dutch aim to reduce uncertainty as much as possible.
Beginning negotiations without an agenda is unimaginable.For the Dutch negotiator, predictability is absolutely essential. Beginning negotiations without an agenda is therefore unimaginable. Agendas are important as a guideline for interacctions to keep everone focussed on the matter at hand. In this way, the Dutch negotiator is assured that the other party is on the same track. In the Netherlands, it is difficult to change the agenda once it has been set. Arguing for a change in the agenda because of circumstances is not acceptable. In fact, the purpose of the agenda is to keep circumstances from dictating the course of events. Keep this perspective in mind when formulating your arguments concerning changes in the agenda.