For Israelis in business, Americans can be very confusing. We seem to indicate one thing with our words and another with our followup.
This confusion is tripled when the communication is written. Because now the body language and intonations are missing altogether, which is very problematic when you are already dealing with cultural differences.
For example, if an American says “I know you are busy”, it really translates to – why haven’t you gotten back to me?
Would you have guessed that? Maybe or maybe not.
Look, Americans value being very polite. We often couch what we are saying in order to get the best result. Rather than actually SAYING “you are busy, you never get back to me!” we just politely acknowledge that yes you are busy. But we mean something else. We want to hear back from you.
Here is a list that is meant to be humorous but that is actually very accurate, of things Americans might say in email correspondence – and what they really mean.