In the Netherlands, people tend to regard others as equals. People do take an interest in jobs and status, however these are not significant subjects in informal settings. Although Dutch organisations do have a hierarchical structure, this hierarchy tends to be more flat and an employee can for example argue with or question a manager.
In line with the inclination towards social equality, Dutch decision-making aims for consensus. During a decision-making process the views of everyone concerned are heard. Often a compromise is reached that is agreeable to all parties. Having many meetings during office hours is a much used method for exchanging views in the run-up to a decision. This process can take a great deal of time before a decision is made. Once made, decisions are quickly implemented and will be regarded as final.
‘Doe normaal’ (‘Just act normal’) is a frequently used statement. Flamboyant behaviour is generally not appreciated and one should not attract too much attention displaying emotions in public. Also, the Dutch generally avoid superlatives and are not very open to flattery. Compliments are offered sparingly and to say that something is ‘not bad’ is to praise it. The Dutch typically play down wealth, and frown upon ostentatious displays of wealth or bragging about income, possessions and accomplishments.