“My team only contain Dutch people. There can’t be that much cultural differences.”. Think again, reallity is completly different. Sure, this is not necessarily wrong but is something the keep in mind. In this article I will give you more insights about cultural differences and stereotypes in the Netherlands. (I am sure this kind of differences and stereotypes are out there all over the world).
On the campsite
The Dutch paper De Volkskrant from juli 19th published a nice example of cultural differences in the Netherlands. In the article Cultuurclash op jongerencamping Dennenoord: ‘Wij zijn echt, zij niet’, Kaya Bouma and Hassan Bahara take us to a summer vacation to youth campsite ‘Dennenoord’.
The journalists perform some interviews with the youth and employees of the campsite. Quickly it turns out that there are 2 archetypes of campers: the farmers, and those from the West. People from the west can turn out aggressive and farmes ‘dont’t care about anything’. The employees prefer to keep those archytpes far from eachother.
Of course, this is an example of different subcultures among youngh people. On the other side, the stereotypes in the mind of these young people don’t dissapear complete when they get older.
Stereotypes in the Netherlands
Newspaper Trouw also published a nice article about different cultures in the Netherlands. In 2014 the paper published the article Arrogante Amsterdammers, Limburgse nep-Belgen en andere stereotypes. The content of this article is based on a Reddit image placed by ‘VictorVan’ (Reddit username). On the Reddit platform he placed an map of the Netherlands with al geographic stereotypes.
For sure, this image is mostly sarcastic and absolutely not true. On the other side you will recognise a lot of stereotypes mentioned.
What you see is not what you will get, how we get influenced by stereotypes
The fact that the stereotypes we use are not always right is shown by artist Joel Parés. He created the photoserie Judging America. This photoserie show clearly how most people look at others and judge about what they see. The next picture in the series shows the reality and background of the portraited person.
When you see an Mexican looking person, most people in America see a cleaner. But with the right clothes and some background information we find out that Edgar Gonzales is the CEO of a Fortune 500 company in America.
In the Netherlands these, by stereotypes driven, prejudices are all the same. Of course there don’t only live stoic farmers in Groningen. Also Limburg has other people then ‘corrupt, non intelligent backup Belgians’. However, these stereotypes often play a role in mutual relationships.
What about my team now?
Within your team there also will be differences. Everyone is different. Not by the place we live in or come from but mostly by our personality. By looking at your teammembers by who they are instead of where they come from, you will be able to let your team collaborate way better.
I know a situation where some told me that an ex-colleague lived in some specific area. This person was a total mismatch for the oranisation. This person has a very direct style of communication and was less politically. He just said it if something was wrong.
This was something the organisation couldn’t handle very well. A few months later a new colleague started at the organisation. Unfortunately for him, he lived in the same area as the ex-colleague. You may guess how much he was lagging behind on the start.
The deep dive
Break the downward spiral of stereotypes and prejudice by investigate who your people are and what you expect from them. First you will map it perfectly with our solution. Secondly you start by making improvements.
Curious about the way that will look for your team? Book a tour so we can show you all the bennerfits.