…remember that the Dutch are also having to adjust to you.
I got this advice during my orientation, and it’s always been a good thing for me to remember. The basics are easy: I take my time, speak clearly, avoid idioms, and check for understanding; fortunately, the Dutch directness ensures that it works both ways.
But it also means that I don’t multi-task in meetings that are being conducted in English to accommodate me, and that I try to let people argue in Dutch when they need to among themselves. (I avoid the temptation to encourage them speak Dutch so that I can multi-task in meetings).
I do wait for them to finish a sentence their own way without jumping in to try to help (I would usually be wrong anyway), although sometimes I suggest a word when the right one just isn’t coming to mind. And I don’t wordsmith slides or documents unless it’s destined for a US audience, and even then only in green ink.
More than once, I’ve found them accommodating the way that I do things, too, so I know we both try. Sometimes it works easily (entering meetings without a prior written agenda..sorry, I do prepare, but I’m not someone who distributes agendas), and sometimes with difficulty (closing a meeting without posting notes with minutes, action items, and assignments…I’m afraid that we rotate having a scribe).
At least it’s made for much shorter e-mails both ways…