1. Telling someone what to do – the Dutch are allergic to hierarchy. Telling someone what to do may well backfire and probably won’t have the desired result. Ask nicely… it makes a huge difference.
3. Calling on someone unannounced - In general the Dutch don’t appreciate people turning up at their doorsteps unannounced… no matter how well meant. If you don’t already have an “appointment” to meet someone call beforehand to see if it is okay.
4. Forgetting the handshake – despite the appearance of informality in the Netherlands the Dutch love an old handshake. The first time you meet someone always extend your hand and say your first and last name. At business meetings and social occasions hands are usually shook both before and at the end of the event.
5. Being indirect in your communication– the Dutch value openness and honesty more than politeness. Beating around the bush can at best lead to misunderstanding and at worst lead to mistrust.
6. Asking personal questions – The Dutch are quite a reserved lot, avoid very personal questions until you know someone quite well.
7. Not saying your name on the phone – whether you’re talking to a person’s secretary, the CEO of a company or an Internet provider telephonist you always say your name before launching into the purpose of your call.
8. Acting like you are better than anyone else – because you’re not!