Workshop East-West Business Relations

Try to cope with Dutch directness? Have difficulty understanding the circuitous answers of your Asian counterpart? Lead your team ahead, but is one member foot-dragging? Different ways of thinking and communicating not only make already stressful work situations even more stressful, but they also affect business success. Culture and personality differences can be stimulating and inspiring if handled well, but they can be extremely unpleasant when handled poorly. Read more

Video: 3 lessons about the Netherlands

2016 December 14 | What comes to mind when you think of the Netherlands? That was the question posed by the organizers of a series of short talks in Guangzhou about Dutch architecture, innovation and communication.
The strict Pecha Kucha format – using 20 slides for only 20 seconds each – forced me to tell my story in less than 7 minutes. As I focus on communication, the essence of the Dutch identity to me is our ‘square’ communication style, our polder model with endless meetings and on our positive take on a highly confrontational style. For the Dutch, speaking one’s mind and openly criticizing any idea or proposition – purposefully not taking hierarchical relations into account – is considered taking responsibility as a team member. This was my answer to the question about the Netherlands: “Cycling on a stormy day, challenging and refreshing at the same time.”

On YouTube you can see my presentation at the Pecha Kucha organized by the Guangzhou Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Read more