Cultures in the Mediterranean, Middle East, South and Central America and Southern Europe tend to have expressive communication styles compared with the more reserved communication styles of cultures in North America, Northern and Western Europe and the Far East
If you come from an expressive culture, you may find it hard to figure out what your colleagues or clients from a reserved culture are really feeling. It is difficult to pick up anger, for example, when voice tones remain even and you are likely to assume they are a little annoyed when they are, in fact, very angry. You may mistake their reserve for lack of interest or coldness and you may be hurt if they recoil from a friendly pat on the back. You may even be surprised to discover that they think of you as unprofessional. According to them, emotions don’t belong in the workplace.
If you come from a reserved culture, you may think your expressive colleagues or clients are out of control. In fact, you may find them a little intimidating. They may be having a discussion, but when you listen to their voices and observe their gestures, you may conclude that they are having a fight. More expressive colleagues or friends may perceive you as someone excessively formal.