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Temperament of Poles - my observations


Matt1234
12 Aug 2013 #1
Hi,

Need views from everyone on this forums. I have been living in Poland from past 2 years and I have some observations:

1) Poles are very impatient they will not let other peroson complete a question/statement. This results in communication gap and sour relationship.
2) Poles are very defensive/reactive and not open to feedback, they always think they are right.
3) You can not have a discussion with Poles about many issues, because they thing you are complaining.
4) Poles are very insecure and will try to pull you down in fromt of other, even when you offer genuine help.
5) Poles can not work in teams and tend to be independent, which screws work in today's global work enviornment.e
6) They are not good at muli-tasking.

I don't want to sterotype, but this has been my experience with majority of the people here.

Again, this is not a complaing forum but a discussion forum to increase the understanding.

Regards,

Matt
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
12 Aug 2013 #2
Perhaps you should explain to us first in what environment you found such people.
OP Matt1234
12 Aug 2013 #3
Thank you for your reply. I face this ,in a normal corporate (multinational) enviornment, where they have to deal with their coleagues of other nationalities. I came up with this questions after having a discussion with other co-workers from different nationalities.

Regards,
Matt
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
12 Aug 2013 #4
And what is your experience in non-Polish corporate environments?
OP Matt1234
12 Aug 2013 #5
Thank You, once again.
Its the same, however I'll not discuss more on that because those are more friendly discussions and all of us have a laugh about that.

I want to know more from co-workers perspective.
Is there any cultural, historical, behavioural reason for that? I know the life was not easy here.
Regards,
Matt
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
12 Aug 2013 #6
In other words, it sounds like you work in a typical corporate environment.
OP Matt1234
12 Aug 2013 #7
;-) Ha ha, not exacatly. I wrote these points in this forums after having a discussion with Locals and people who are expats here, even few poles agree to that and say thats the way we are.

When ever I had a meeting with other team members (non-poles), they also say the say that it is a bit difficult to put the point across and give feedback.

Again not sterotyping but this is what I have noticed in past 2 firms I was with. Earlier, I thought it was an issue with a few co-workers but now I relaize it more and more.

Another example: I ordered breakfast at a restaurant, it didn't arrive for 45 minutes and when I told thw waitress that I am getting late for a meeting. Her reply was 'but you didn't tell me, you are getting late.' So, it came as a surprsie to the people I was with (who were travelling to Poland for the first time.

Regards,
Matt
kaz200972 2 | 229
12 Aug 2013 #8
5) Poles can not work in teams and tend to be independent, which screws work in today's global work enviornment.e

I don't know which industry you work in but in my experience Poles are good team workers on a production line. Providing you explain the process clearly, Polish women are especially good at keeping an assembly line/food production going. They are also very efficient packers. The men are good in both departments too.
OP Matt1234
12 Aug 2013 #9
Thank You for your reply.
Marius 1 | 33
12 Aug 2013 #10
Interesting observations, thanks for sharing. I like these kind of cultural/communication discussions.

IMHO (based on living in PL nearly 6 years):

1. It depends on the person, in my experience. But there is a tendency to be rather quick in reactions here. This is sth cultural BTW. E.g. Scandinavians/Japanese rather let the other speaker first finish, then think, then respond. Poles react quicker, but not as quick as people from e.g. Netherlands (where I am from), who sometimes think they know better what you are going to say than yourself and before you have finished your sentence :)

2. A Polish friend once told me: "Poles often think they can say everything about anyone else/any other country, and they don't have the slightest idea that this could stereotype/insult people, and don't understand this. But as soon as someone says something about them/their Polish culture, they take it personally and will hold it against you in the case of criticism." This friend lived a considerable time abroad ;)

3. Don't agree there, but I noticed that sometimes they tend to become emotional about things in discussions.

4. This is sth new for me. Poles I met are usually kind and polite, sensitive to group dynamics. Mayb it depends on how this help has been offered? :)

5. Not more/less individualstic/independent than in other countries I lived/worked in. Depends on your viewpoint, I guess. For me they are sometimes too collectivistic, and try to 'hide' behind others when working in groups.

6. No considerable difference noted b/w Poles and other nationalities. Women are better at it than men, though, but I guess this is true across nations.
poland_
12 Aug 2013 #11
Need views from everyone on this forums. I have been living in Poland from past 2 years and I have some observations:

Are you locally employed or did you move here on assignment?
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
12 Aug 2013 #12
Where is the majority of your working life experience accrued from, Matt? EG S Korea, India, Norway??
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
12 Aug 2013 #13
The first foreign country I ever "lived" in was Denmark while in my mid-twenties. I later visited Szczecin, Poland during a brief trip to Germany. While indeed stereotyping, either positive or negative, is to a certain degree inevitable, I too would like to share some cultural differences between the Poles and the Danes, for example.

DANES POLES
Often pflegmatic to a fault Sarcastic, suspicious and wary of strangers
Easy going to the point of disrespectful Intensely curious and quick to challenge
Seemingly present and future- oriented, little concerned with their past Sometiimes moved to tears by quick, passionate outbursts
Bland of temper, finding any hint of national passion amusing! Opinionated and reluctant to renege on that opinion
OP Matt1234
13 Aug 2013 #14
Thank you everyone for your replies.

Marius: Thank for explaining.

warszawski: I am locally emplloyed on assignments.

InWroclaw: US, UK, MIddle East, Singapore, Australia, India (South East Asia in general)
poland_
13 Aug 2013 #15
US, UK, MIddle East, Singapore, Australia, India (South East Asia in general)

From my experience in Poland and working with Polish colleagues everything comes down to two issues 'money' & 'power' as simple as that.

Money, why would they help anyone to rise above them on the pay scale. if you make more money than them you should know more than them, they will respect you if they can learn from you. Knowledge = money.

Power, the more they know the more power they have over their colleagues,therefore the more secure their job is.Information is knowledge=power.

Its just that simple.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
13 Aug 2013 #16
Power, the more they know the more power they have over their colleagues,therefore the more secure their job is.Information is knowledge=power.

This sounds as any corporate environment I have been working in up to date.
Summert
13 Aug 2013 #17
Hi Matt, I have been here for just over 2 years. I experience all items in your list regularly. My Husband is Polish and I work here, so I see the social, family and work side of the Poles - your list exists no matter who I spend time with or where. I have found though, that once you make friends (@ work or socially) the Poles are very loyal, open and friendly. I simply adore the friends I have managed to make here. Sadly the opposite can be true too, if people think you are better off then them or have more potential, they can be nasty - you quickly learn who is who. It has been hard for me to adjust here, but getting the hang of it.

I agree with warszawski as for the reason!
OP Matt1234
13 Aug 2013 #18
Thank You Summert and Warszawki.

Thank You everyone for the replies. More opinons/suggestions are more than welcome.
enric 1 | 3
14 Aug 2013 #19
Well, maybe things have changed a lot but my experience differs a bit from Matt's. Back in the mid 90's I was working in London for a British multinational which set foot on Poland and I had the privilege to meet and work with some of those Polish colleagues. It was a short project for me I give it to you, but my perception is quite the opposite from Matt's in most issues. I found Poles to be cold at first (most like most Slavics, especially those enduring tough regimes for so long) but very warm once they get to know you. I myself am Mediterranean, hence quite 'friendly' -although I also have my share of bad temper!- and I found most Poles enjoying the "laid back" approach I normally use. Note: "laid back" as in being approachable, open and friendly on a personal level, nothing to do with being strict and professional in the work environment.

While it's true that it took me a while to create a true team spirit, Poles are as capable as any other nationality to work together. But one has admit that the country's individualistic personality is very useful in certain environments. In my case, it was great to see how someone to whom you assigned a responsibility was capable of working on his/her own without asking all the time whether he/she should do this or that as it happens in some other cultures in which individualism is not rooted (or simply, seen as a defect).

One thing I agree with Matt is that Pols are stubborn :)... but I suppose this has to do more with the person than rather the nationality.

Well, these are my five cents!
edson83 1 | 4
14 Aug 2013 #20
I worked with Poles but here in Brazil. They came here to help us in a implementation of a global system.

They were 2 guys very nice, easy going person. In our free time, ever making jokes and extremely helpful.

As tourist in Poland I got good memories too.

That was my experience.
pawian 176 | 15,325
15 Aug 2013 #21
5) Poles can not work in teams and tend to be independent, which screws work in today's global work environment.

The only characteristic which truly applies to Poles in general is No 5 about Polish independence and unwillingness to work in a team. Yes, Poles are used to working on their own.

All the remaining are not national but individual traits which can be used to describe any people wherever.
Wulkan - | 3,249
15 Aug 2013 #22
I second that
TheOther 5 | 3,711
15 Aug 2013 #23
2) Poles are very defensive/reactive and not open to feedback, they always think they are right.

With regard to history related topics, I would say this is mostly true, too. You cannot discuss Poland's past with Polish people, especially when someone else's version differs from theirs or their country is criticized in any way. Need proof? Just look at PF...

Or is it patriotism? ;)


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