Finnish-Polish round table dinner


During a recent Finnish-Polish round table dinner, the Finns found that Poles have a better view of them than themselves.

When it comes to national stereotypes, Finns aren't exactly considered the most extroverted of people. At a recent Finnish-Polish round table dinner, under the auspices of the Finnish Trade Guild of the Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce, the Finns present were more than ready to admit that the stereotype has a grain of truth.
"It's not in our national character to network and socialize," said Anitta Koskio, CEO of ExpatHouse. This attribute can cause difficulty for a transplanted executive who needs to create a network of business associates. But whence this reluctance to socialize? Some of the Finns had a harsh answer - a reluctance to trust.
"Finns only commit when they feel there is something in it for them," said Marko Laaksonen, HR director at Suominen Corporation.
Needless to say, that can cause problems between staff and management - and even more so in an international environment. Some of the participants told of how difficult atmospheres had resulted from a lack of trust between Finnish superiors and Polish staff, or a Finnish head office and a Polish-run local office.
However, the Poles participating in the discussion were adamant in their disagreement.
Sylwester Dmowski, managing director of Fiskars Brands Polska, the Polish branch of the Finnish garden-tools and household-accessories producer, had only positive things to say about his Finnish superiors.
"My experience is completely different," he said. "From the very beginning, Fiskars' Polish team has felt that it enjoys the trust [of the Finnish head office]. Without that, we wouldn't have the success, the stable team, that we have [currently]."
And perhaps the Finns were being too hard on themselves, as each of them said that they had found a way to trust and gain trust from their Polish staff - and had learned that they had much in common.


Source:  Warsaw Business Journal


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