This blog post was written by Dilara, a Business student at Estonian Business School.
I believe that before coming to Estonia for your studies, learning about Estonian values and understanding their importance is very helpful to adapt to Estonian culture. It has been over two years that I have been living in Estonia, and I feel like Estonia has included me in its charming society as well because my environment is covered with my Estonian friends, lecturers, neighbors, and colleagues.
In this blog post, I will explain 3 of Estonia's societal values according to Hofstede's Insight metrics and my own experience of Estonian values.
Long Term Orientation
The metric shows the highest score on the "long term orientation" segment with an 82 score. That means the readiness of societies to overcome challenges of the current time or future. Estonians are not normative but rather pragmatic. They believe "truth" is the key to overcoming to challenge that there must be a clear and real understanding of the context, circumstances, and duration.
One of the things I respect about Estonian society is a long-term orientation. Estonia has been developing in a very fast and efficient way as a post-Soviet country. I have witnessed how improvements happened in almost every area of my work, study, social, and normal life in recent two years. For instance, my university (EBS) asks students to provide feedback on basically every university-related topic, and they take this feedback quite seriously hence, I have been seeing many improvements in my lectures, university events, and the school itself. So, I can assure you that Estonians are remarkably good at long-term orientation, adjustments, and progress.
Another point is Estonia is an individualist country. Estonians are independent that they consider "I" rather than "We" and take care of themselves and their close relatives.
I partly agree with the statement above. At first, Estonians might seem cold, however, once you become friends, they are very open and affectionate.
Estonians focus on their own self-fulfilled accomplishments. I think it is a good thing since self-achievements bring serenity and success on a personal and societal level. Even I became a more self-achievement goal setter than ever before while spending time with my Estonian friends and understanding their mindset about self-challenges.
Honesty and transparency are crucial requirements for Estonians which -I admire about Estonians- make Estonia a very safe and reliable country to live in. An example of this statement is one of my close international friends who lost her wallet on the bus in Tallinn, and she contacted with required authorities about the problem. After several days, one of the citizens found it and gave it to the bus driver. Then the bus driver gave it to my friend! The wallet was found with all credit cards and money in it in the big capital city of Estonia, which was very impressive and heart-melting. Estonians are trustworthy, and they expect the same from society.
Another aspect of individualism among Estonians is how clear and straightforward they are. I can confirm that when they talk as to how they think or feel. I believe it is a positive thing that way, communication gets much clearer, and there is no room to misunderstand anything. They also tend to keep conversation length small, at least at first times! :D But when you get to know Estonians, they are easy to talk.
So don't hesitate to chat with Estonians. I am sure you will find many interesting, sweet people as I did! :)
According to Hofstede's Insights, masculinity indicates a competitive and strict success-oriented society. On the other hand, feminine society approaches success as having good life quality, and personal achievement is not anything that parts anyone from the rest of the community. Estonian society is a feminine community which means humbleness and fairness are the essential values.
They don't brag about their accomplishments, but they work hard and acquire successful outcomes. When they face a problem with someone, they listen carefully to understand the issue from another point of view concerning fairness. Estonians are open-minded and eager to learn many aspects of the situation.
What I've gathered from my personal experience is that Estonians care about the decision-making process. They want to agree on something after hearing everyone's opinion. This is one of the ways of feeling heard and seen in the Estonian society, which is very valuable.
In addition, younger generation managers, staff members, and CEOs are many in Estonian companies that Estonian community embraces fairness in every area of life.
For me, it was a very interesting topic to search and write about. I have gained more perspectives about Estonians, and I am more knowledgeable.
I hope you enjoyed the reading! :)
Until next time...!
Reference Page : Hofstede’s Insights, Estonia- Hofstede’s Insights (webpage) https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country/estonia/ accessed on April 26, 2022.