By Paola Pascual & Simon Kennell on Aug 23, 2021 10:47:06 AM
If you work in an international environment, you've probably encountered some language barriers at some point. We understand that each individual is different, but we are also influenced by our culture and surroundings. Understanding the main communication patterns of the culture you're communicating with will help you lead more successful projects and thrive in your professional life.
How To Communicate Better With...
In this new series, we will cover how to communicate better with different nationalities. Bear in mind that we will share general communicative differences, not principles. We believe that understanding how different cultures communicate will help you advance in your career and make your business thrive. However, remember that each individual has a different communication style, so please take these tips with a grain of salt and take the time to get to know each person.
In this episode, we will cover how to better communicate with people from Israel... with a very special guest! Keren, one of Talaera's awesome teachers, was born in Israel and has a lot to say about her culture. We will also provide very specific tips for when you communicate with Israelis in professional situations.
Interesting facts about Israel
- Population: 9,388,400 (2021 estimate)
- Languages: the official language in Israel is Hebrew. Arabic has a special status under Israeli law.
- Capital: Jerusalem
- Currency: Israeli New shekel (₪, ILS) - As of August, 2021, 1 USD = 3,24 ILS
- Workweek. In Israel, the standard workweek is from Sunday through Thursday. Friday is a short workday for some businesses and Saturday is a weekend day.
- Shabbat. Shabbat is the Jewish Day of Rest. Shabbat happens each week from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. Friday night dinner is the most popular Shabbat meal.
- The Dead Sea. The lowest place on Earth is the Dead Sea, with an elevation amounting to approximately 414 meters below sea level.
- Road signs. If you travel to Israel, you will see that road signs are written in three languages –Hebrew, Arabic, and English.
- Tzabar. Israelis are sometimes called sabra or tzabar –which literally means prickly pear cactus–, thorny and tough on the outside but delicate and sweet on the outside.
- Distance. The distance from Metula –in the very north of Israel– to Eilat –in the south– is around 800 km and it takes around 6 hours to drive (if traffic allows!).
Non-verbal communication in Israel
- Gesturing. Israelis use their hands to speak more than most other cultures.
- Pinched fingers and a raised hand. Italians love this gesture, and they use it to signal disagreement. Did you know that Israelis also use it? However, for them, it means something totally different. For Israelis, pinched fingers mean something like "Wait," "Hang on," or "Just a minute". Interesting, huh?
Pinched fingers - did you know in Israel it means 'Wait! Hang on!"?
- Eyelid pull. This gesture, in which you use your index finger to pull your eyelid further down, is an ironic way of saying "Aha, right! As if...". You know when you try to put a contact lens in? Something like that! The equivalent for most English speakers would be the "air quotes".
- Personal space. Physical boundaries are far less defined than in many other cultures. Israelis generally feel comfortable being close to each other.
- Noise. Shouting across a crowded space or talking loudly on the phone are somewhat common.
- Greetings. A cheek-to-cheek kiss is a common greeting outside of the office. For professional introductions, a handshake is always a safe bet. However, if it's someone you have been meeting with on Zoom often or speaking with on the phone, don't be surprised if they go for a cheek kiss or a hug.
Verbal communication in Israel
- Direct communication style. "I think the best way to summarize it is very direct. But I would also encourage people to start looking at it as direct and warm," Keren says. Israelis tend to be very direct and tell you exactly what they think. This is their way of showing you that they care –they care about what you're talking about, they care about the project you're working on, they care about you.
- Outspoken personality. The fact that Israeli care and are warm usually comes with the fact that they are often willing to share their opinions. You see what you get. "If an Israeli doesn't really have an opinion about what you're doing, might be a little suspicious. Take a moment to check in on that!"
- Transparent communication. Israelis discuss some topics that are taboo for other cultures. Asking personal questions, about your love life, your salary, how much you pay for rent, or how much your shoes cost is quite normal.
- Informal culture. In Israel, the business dress code is mostly casual. They tend to engage in social events, and people in the office tend to be friends with one another. It's not uncommon to be invited to someone's family home for a Shabbat dinner, within an hour of meeting them.
- Egalitarian hierarchies. The hierarchy that exists within companies can be a bit more blurred than in other cultures. People won't hesitate to disagree with a boss or interrupt someone in a meeting.
- Interruptions. There's usually no silence in conversations with Israelis. People often interrupt each other, and –generally speaking– is not considered rude, but rather part of the culture and the conversation flow.
- Fast-paced. Israel is a country of innovation, and things move fast. You will notice that communication and business, in general, are much faster in Israel than in most places in Europe and Asia.
Tips to effectively communicate with Israelis
Working with people from other cultures requires high cultural intelligence (CQ), together with a general understanding of the specific cultures you are dealing with. We present effective tips that will help you collaborate more effectively with colleagues and clients from Israel.
#1 Take everything with a pinch of salt
If an Israeli makes a comment about your projects or provides negative feedback, don't get offended. They don't mean it as a personal attack, but instead as constructive feedback.
#2 Be direct and honest
Don't beat around the bush when communicating with Israelis. Being overly polite might be seen as if you’re either hiding something or you don’t know the answer.
They're also pretty good at receiving feedback, so feel free to be honest with them and tell them what you think.
#3 Don't stress
Israelis are usually quite forgiving, so as long as you stay professional and do your best, don’t worry too much. If you start working with an Israeli and all you hear is negative feedback and suggestions for improvement and then you see they gave you a 5/5 star review online, don't be too surprised! :-)
#4 Dare to share
If you feel comfortable, share a little bit about your personal life when someone asks. It might not be something you would normally do, but it will make the other person feel closer to you.
#5 Use first names
Drop formalities, honorific titles, and surnames. If the person uses a nickname, feel free to use it too!
#6 Write short emails
Israelis tend to write –very– short emails, and they usually appreciate this concise communication. To write more effective emails to an Israeli person, make sure your message is short and to the point.
This article works as supporting material for our podcast episode on how to communicate better with people from Israel. You can read the transcript below. Make sure you check out all our other Talaera Talks episodes and subscribe to get new episode alerts.
Keep Improving your Crosss-Cultural Communication Skills
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If you enjoyed this article, keep reading:
- 7 Tips On How To Communicate Better With US Americans
- What Americans Really Mean When They Say Things Like “How Are You?”
- Working With Israelis? Use These 6 Excellent Communication Tips
- The 6 Communication Tips Everyone Working With Germans Should Know
- A Quick Guide To Asking Better Questions In Cross Cultural Workplaces
- 8 Tips On Direct Communication For Those Who Were Called "Too Direct"
- 13 Ways to Break Down Silos in the Workplace And Boost Collaboration
- 9 Tell-Tale Signs Your Employees Are Struggling With Cross-Cultural Communication
- How To Overcome The Top 4 Communication Barriers In The Workplace
- How To Say No: The Truth About Assertive Communication
- Managing Across Cultures: Playbook for Managers
- Cross-Cultural Communication
Talaera Talks - Transcript Episode 21
If you are learning English, including new English words and expressions will help you with effective communication. Remember to check out our other episodes on how to make small talk, how to deliver engaging presentations, how to speak English fluently, and many more: visit the podcast website. Listen to it on your favorite platform:
Welcome to Talaera Talks, the business English communication podcast for non-native professionals. My name is Paola and I am co-hosting this show with Simon. In this podcast, we're going to be covering communication advice and tips to help express yourself with confidence in English in professional settings. So we hope you enjoy the show!
Simon Kennell 0:24
Okay, welcome back to another episode of Talaera Talks. My name is Simon. I'm joined with Paola today. Paola, how are you doing?
Paola Pascual 0:37
Hi, Simon. I'm great. Very excited about today's episode.
Paola Pascual 0:41
Yeah, we have an interesting... Yeah, kind of episode today, which is our first ever interview where we are bringing in someone to our podcast. So I guess we should just go ahead and introduce our guest. Our guest is Keren. Keren is one of our teachers here with Talaera, one of our great teachers. Very interesting kind of story that will let her explain. But for our episode today we're talking about communicating with Israelis. And Keren is an Israeli. So Keren, welcome to the podcast. How are you today?
Keren Hovav 1:23
Hi, I'm doing well. Thank you. I'm excited to be here.
Simon Kennell 1:27
Yeah, we are so excited to have you. And can you tell us you're calling in from Tel Aviv today? Right?
Keren Hovav 1:33
Yeah, I'm in Tel Aviv.
Simon Kennell 1:34
All right. And how's everything over there? How's the weather today?
Keren Hovav 1:39
You know, we had a really crazy heatwave. It's mellowing out, according to our standards here, but it's still pretty hot and humid.
Simon Kennell 1:48
Well, that's Yeah, we're all spread out. Like we have Denmark, Spain and Israel in the house. Which is great. It's great. And so yeah, today, we wanted to bring you in. You've done a lot of obviously great stuff with us. And the fact that we do work with a lot of Israeli companies. And you being in Tel Aviv being if I'm not mistaken, half Israeli and half American? No, wrong.
Keren Hovav 2:18
Not quite. I was born here in Israel, both of my parents were also born here in Israel, by chance, we moved to California when I was a kid, for no good reason, just to see what was going on there. And so that's where I get the American side of me.
Simon Kennell 2:34
Oh, great, great, great. Okay, awesome. Well, well, then. Okay, then it's perfect. Let's, let's get started and see where we go. So we're talking about communicating with people from Israel. And there's a lot in this where we're talking about communication, where I think I'm gonna slide it over to Paola. And I think we'll start with some, I guess, fun facts about Israel, right?
Paola Pascual 3:03
Yeah. Why don't we start with some fun, quick facts? So Israel, how many people just use will have? Keren, do you know? Is it about 9 million?
Keren Hovav 3:15
Yeah, around 9 million. A little bit less, I think.
Paola Pascual 3:19
Okay. So one, one of them. It's not really a fun fact. But one of the things that I was surprised to learn, I guess, because I had never worked with Israelis that the working week starts on Sunday. And then they finish working on Thursday. So, that's interesting.
Keren Hovav 3:37
It is it's interesting because I don't know, I don't know of any other countries that do it that way. And it's a little tricky to adjust to, you know, from living in the States for so long to this workweek. It's, it's a bit tricky, but it's because Shabbat you know, it's the holy day of the week, and the Jewish religion. And so, you know, we don't work on Friday afternoon or Saturday.
Paola Pascual 4:02
I know, I always find it super funny when I have a session with one of my students in Israel, and it's a Monday and I'm like, hey, how's your weekend? And they're like, well, it was like, a few days ago... I can't remember. What else? So I visited... I actually visited Israel once and this was three years ago. And one thing I also loved to see is how the signs are written in three different languages.
Keren Hovav 4:26
Yeah, all of our signs are in Hebrew, Arabic, and English, because those are, you know, the predominant languages of the region.
Paola Pascual 4:36
It's interesting. What else do we have? Do you have any fun facts about Israel?
Keren Hovav 4:40
I mean, the lowest point on Earth is here, the Dead Sea. It's, I don't know how exactly how much below sea level it is. It's also the saltiest body of water and it's just floating on the surface. Nothing lives. In a beautiful place to visit.
Simon Kennell 5:02
Oh, wow, I've actually, you know, I don't know how have you ever gone and laid down and floated in the Dead Sea?
Keren Hovav 5:11
Me? Yeah. Oh, of course, so many times. From here, it's easy to get to.
Simon Kennell 5:19
And so I guess that's two things about Israel that I was shocked by was, number one how small the country actually is it's like 20 minutes and you're, you know, most places, which is amazing. But then, you know, when I actually went, I went to the Dead Sea. And then when I was there, it was first, I don't know, maybe you can answer this question. But for some reason, it was like 80% Russian tourists there. So it was just me and like, 20 Russians floating around in the Dead Sea, which was like a really nice experience. But then after that, this big Russian guy started grabbing some of the mud and rubbing it on my back. I don't know, is that common?
Keren Hovav 6:06
Yeah, that's super common. So I don't know, maybe you've seen like, the product, the Dead Sea products that you know, are at this point all over the world, right, you can buy lots of beauty products that are labeled the Dead Sea. And it's because that mud has so many like really good minerals and other things that I don't know about. But it's very good for your skin. Funnily enough, if you have a skin condition, and you live in Israel, insurance will cover trips to the Dead Sea for you as a treatment for your skin condition.
Paola Pascual 6:41
Oh, wow. That's cool. Yeah. Yeah, it's quiet, it's quite easy to travel around. I also found because it's so small as a country and, Einat – I was discussing and Einat is one of my students, and she lives in she's from Israel as well. And she was telling me that from not going to pronounce it right, Keren – Metula? (Keren: Yeah, you're right!) So Metula is the most northern part of the country, to Eilat, that's in the south, it takes you about six hours to drive.
Keren Hovav 7:18
With no traffic, I'll add that caveat. There's also a small country with few roads and a lot of people, traffic is definitely a thing. So if there would be no traffic. Yeah, and you know, from east to west, or west to east, it's also about maybe an hour like. So. I mean, in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, I think in people's minds are very far away from each other. But you know, now there's actually a train that goes directly from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, they just opened and we're very excited about it. And I think it's like 30 minutes. Oh, that's good. So from the center of Tel Aviv to the center of Jerusalem,
Paola Pascual 7:57
It is pretty good. Alright, what else? Do we have anything else to share? Or shall we move on to some more communication details?
Simon Kennell 8:07
Yeah, I want to get into this, which is always somewhat of a tricky one. I mean, when we talk about nonverbal communication, so what does that really mean? Right, so obviously, nonverbal communication –not anything we're speaking or saying– but it it's very different in different cultures. And before we hop on today, Karen, you brought up a couple of these different Yeah, gestures and things. And so I guess my first question around this is, how big of a role do gestures play in communication in Israel?
Keren Hovav 8:44
I think a pretty big role relative, especially to some other cultures. There's sometimes like, the most common gesture, I would say, in Israel is sort of like pinching your fingers together. It's like what the Italians do, you know? But in Israel, it means "Wait" (Simon: It means?). "Wait", "No, wait", like "one second". Yeah. So you'll see, sometimes when you want to cross the street, you sort of do this gesture to the car to ask them to wait to let you cross the street, or someone's on the phone, they're just like, "Give me one second", and it's just very much with this gesture. Another gesture that I was showing you guys earlier is sort of pulling down on your eyelid on your lower eyelid with your finger. And it means like as if, right, so. So it's or like air quotes, kind of its equivalent. So, you know, for example, if someone says, "Oh, you know, you're not allowed to go there". And you think that that's, you know, not real, it shouldn't be that way or you don't think that it's actually a rule, you might say, like, not allowed, right. Let's pull down in my live.
Paola Pascual 9:51
So that kind of gesture is what I would use for pay attention. Hmm, interesting.
Simon Kennell 9:58
Yeah, that kind of gesture is I would use to put in my eye contacts is. Yeah. Okay. So, okay, so there's that one. Are there any others?
Keren Hovav 10:11
I'm sure there are but not that I can think of right now off the top of my head. But generally people here do speak with their hands. Um, it's it's very, you know, improv improv. No, improvised. Yeah, very improvised. But those are, you know, two common ones that I could think of.
Simon Kennell 10:28
Right? Very cool. I like that. I'm gonna use the wait one more, but I think I'm just, I want to do it all the time. Because I really love when I see Italians do that. So I'm just gonna start using that for everything. Now.
Paola Pascual 10:43
Something else I noticed is personal space is, it's a bit smaller than in other countries, I would say.
Unknown Speaker 10:52
I mean, if you think about it, again, it's such a small country that I guess it's part of the culture, like we don't have enough space, everyone cram in, you know. So you'll see, like, if you're waiting in line, people will just be like, right next to you, there's a lot less of a feeling of needing to give others a lot of personal space. Another thing also is that the common greeting is, you know, a cheek to cheek kiss, or like, on both sides, depending on typically the age of the person. Less than professional settings, I would say like, you know, maybe don't kiss someone that you've just met in the office, but outside of the office, that's a very typical greeting for basically anyone that you meet. So it's another example of the sort of close space between people.
Simon Kennell 11:41
important for me to know, I'm sorry, I need to jump in because I need to be sure. is, does this go for men as well? Like, if I meet another man, I would do that or no?
Keren Hovav 11:51
Well, that's a good question. Um, no. I think that women do it with one another, and men and women do also with one another. I have seen men do it to each other as well. But I would say it's a little less common. (Simon: Okay. Okay). Maybe don't you don't initiate it. But if someone hears that, it's not a big deal.
Simon Kennell 12:16
Okay. All right. Good to know, good to know.
Paola Pascual 12:19
Very similar in Spain as well. So how about you were saying don't try it at the office? How would you greet a colleague to just met for the first time?
Keren Hovav 12:32
So I would say if it's someone that you like, don't know, at all, maybe you haven't communicated with really a handshake is always a safe bet. I think that also there is sort of an expectation if they know that you're coming from abroad, you know, Israelis, we know that there's different cultural standards and other places. So a handshake is always a good baseline. I think if you're not sure, but I would say that if it's someone that you have been, like, you know, meeting with on zoom often or speaking with on the phone, someone you've emailed with a lot... Don't be surprised if they go in either for a cheek kiss or a hug, because they'll probably feel sort of friendly and close with you. So don't want to do that. Great. How about eye contact? Strong eye contact? Oh,
Paola Pascual 13:21
Awesome. So when we had the first, the first episode we had around the series was on how to communicate with US Americans. And one thing we did emphasize was that, of course, each individual is different. And we're only talking in general terms. These are observations we've done from our own experience. Keren, you're, you're from Israel yourself. But of course, there's different people in of course, yeah. just wanted to quickly emphasize that. Right. So that's, that's a bit around how people communicate in Israel, when it comes to nonverbal communication. So how we use our body. Let's jump on verbal communication. So the words and the voice and so on. Keren, how would you describe it?
Keren Hovav 14:11
Yeah, I think the best way to summarize it is very direct. But I would also encourage people to start looking at it as like, direct and warm. So it's, it's a very direct culture where people will tell you exactly what they think. But that's also a way that they're showing you that they care, their care, they care about you. They care about what you're talking about, they care about the project you're working on. And that's why they're saying everything that they think because they really want it to be the best. And so I think that sometimes Israelis can definitely be misinterpreted as very rude. I'm sure Israelis are also rude of the time, you know, they don't mean to be rude. They're trying to be helpful. They're trying to be open, they're trying to contribute, and that gets taken as root. Because it's very, it's a very direct culture. So while I know most people know, direct, I encourage everyone to also try to see it, you know, it's warm. And like a positive thing, what you see is what you get.
Paola Pascual 15:13
That's very sweet. That's something I love about Israel. We did say that Americans. And by that I mean, US Americans are quite assertive and direct. But what happens when you compare them to Israelis? Are they on similar levels of directness?
Keren Hovav 15:31
I would say definitely not. I think that it's something that I teach in a lot of my lessons, actually, is this sort of code of directness that US Americans have. You know, they say one thing, and everybody just kind of knows that that means another thing. Right? So if I said, That's interesting, right? It sounds like I'm saying this is Oh, I'm very interested in what you have to say. But it's a code for I don't know about this. So where us American would be directed? Oh, that's interesting. And everyone sort of knows they're being direct. And Israeli was I think that's a bad idea, or what, this is weird. Why are we doing this? Right. And so it's just another level of directness very clear.
Paola Pascual 16:14
Alright. Um, do they..? So I noticed that they tend to be more informal than other countries. Does that also happen in business?
Keren Hovav 16:27
Yeah, I mean, especially, you'll see it in things even like dress code. It's very casual. Also, there's a lot of, you know, social events that also go on, people in the office tend to be friends also with one another, or at least spend a lot of time together in social situations. It's not uncommon to be invited to someone's family home for a Shabbat dinner, within like, an hour of meeting them. Oh, you know, so it, it is very much, um, you know, we're friends, and the hierarchy that exists within companies is also a little bit more blurred. People won't hesitate to disagree with a boss or interrupt someone in a meeting, and things like that. So there is just a little bit less of that formality. Also, in terms of topics of conversation that are appropriate and acceptable, you know, someone might ask you about your salary right after they've met you. And that's very normal. How much do you pay for rent? What do you make? How much did your shoes cost? And that can make people from other cultures feel uncomfortable, because it's a taboo subject in their culture. But here, it's, you know, quite normal, or to ask you about your love life, you know, personal questions. That's also something that comes up.
Simon Kennell 17:43
Yeah, that was something we talked about in the previous episode, right was, you know, the dinner table conversations, right that in the US, it's like, you always avoid these topics, if you're not really close with the person. And yeah, money is is one of those politics, religion, right. So those are ones that you tend to avoid unless you know the person really well. But I think it's also interesting that, you know, we're talking about Yeah, the kind of the Blurred Lines and the hierarchy and everything like that. And I kind of wanted to ask a little bit as well about what is what about, like, silence and the role that silence plays in conversation? Because we talked about this as an American, I'm typically pretty uncomfortable with a silent period in a conversation in I mean, in Israeli communication, do you feel like that people are kind of talk over each other? Or do you feel like you take time, kind of, you know, collect your thought and then and then and then go back into the conversation?
Keren Hovav 18:44
That's, that's a great question. And I'm laughing because I'm trying to like, imagine a conversation with more than two Israelis where there is any silence. It is a very people interrupt one another talk over one another. Everyone has something to say. Everyone has an opinion. Again, of course, we're generalizing here. There are, you know, shy people here, quiet people here, of course, that exists, but in general, yeah. Lots of overlapping chatter. I'm trying to think of an example where it was like a silence and a group conversation that I had.
Simon Kennell 19:19
And so and as well, with this kind of touching back on, like, you talked about the more egalitarian structure in in companies in Israel. So I mean, and how that may be applies to if you were from a different country, and you were working with an Israeli team. I mean, what does that communication look like with your Yes, superior? I mean, you know, formality, like first name, last name, kind of, how does that kind of go into that?
Keren Hovav 19:51
Right, well, so I think that it's always best you know, someone signs their emails in a certain way, right. If you're communicating long distance, it's always a good idea to Stick with their signature. But within ISRO, the formality of names, it's very informal. So I teach in a school. And all my students, they don't call me Miss, they call me, Karen. And so you have to understand that Israelis are growing up calling their principal and their teachers and everyone that is a quote unquote authority figure in their life by their first name. And I think a great example of this as well as our you know, previous Prime Minister, everyone called him Bibi, you know, that's a nickname. So even at the level of Prime Minister of the country, you still get a nickname, and everyone calls you, BB, not even here full name. Right. So I think that those are good examples of that lack of formality and hierarchy. So it's very interesting.
Simon Kennell 20:50
Yeah, I've just I'm thinking about that, because so in Danish culture, as well, there's that more informal and it's more egalitarian. And the being direct is more coming from a place of honesty. And this is this is the value of honesty in in communicating directly. Is that this is similar to Israel, you think? Because from from what you're saying, it sounded like it was more? I'm telling you what I think because I want, yeah, I care. And I want to be a part of this. But do you think that that that value of honesty as well kind of comes into that being more direct?
Keren Hovav 21:33
I mean, I think it does, just inherently because it is very, it's like, you know, it's honesty, right? It's radical honesty, just saying everything that you think. But I think that the place where you also see it is on the personal level, where someone will just intervene in your life, you'll be walking down the street, you know, especially if you're a new mother, some of my friends just had babies, there'll be walking down the street with their baby, and someone says, oh, you're your baby should be wearing more clothes. It's very cold outside, Oh, you didn't put a hat on your baby, what are you doing? Right, and this is just a random person in the street. So I think it does tend more to the "I care". And so I'm going to tell you everything, I think sort of thing. Like it's like if an Israeli doesn't really have an opinion about what you're doing, might be a little suspicious, like, take a moment to check in on that. So I do think it is a care thing. And I think within the professional setting, it's the The theme is innovation. Now, right? So we don't have time for this, like, you know, coded message of, Oh, well, let's think about maybe the No, this is what we need to do. This is what you need to do. We need to get it done. You did it wrong. Do it. Right. Let's go. Right. Right. I think that those are the two faces of that directness.
Simon Kennell 22:46
And that's so fascinating, because that's definitely what I, I see a lot. I mean, we work with a lot of young Israeli startups. And there is this. There is this kind of like, time is money. It's about speed and innovation and moving fast. And that kind of fits in perfectly with the communication style, it seems like. Yeah, I mean, they go hand in hand. Great. Great. So So can we get into some tips? What are some takeaways? If I'm getting ready to work with an Israeli startup, and I'm a little bit nervous, like going into this? How should I communicate? What are some takeaways that we can give?
Keren Hovav 23:26
Sure. So I think that just you know, as we continue talking about directness, on your end, as someone sort of coming into this culture, on one hand, take everything with a bit of a grain of salt, right. So what might be, you know, hurtful or offensive to you, and someone did this wrong. Take a moment and try not to take it personally, because they don't mean it as a personal attack. Try to see it as constructive and again, warm and caring. And try to just reframe that in your mind, you'll do a lot better within the professional setting here. And you'll just feel happier also. And on the other side of that coin is trying to be very direct yourself, even though it may feel uncomfortable, interestingly enough, in the same way, that people from other cultures see Israeli directness as very rude or abrasive. Israelis can see this sort of coded message or over-politeness, as either suspicious, like, What are you hiding? Why are you not saying something? Right? Like, we just say what we need and what we want. And when we think, and you aren't doing that, and I'm curious about what you're hiding, right? So that can be one interpretation. Another interpretation might be that you don't know, right? They might think that you're not doing a good job or you're not qualified or you don't know the answers. Maybe because you start a sentence with you know, I think that we could do that this way to an Israeli it's like what you think you think we could not tell us what we can do. Right? So trying on your like yourself to be more direct in those sorts of things. And of course, don't beat yourself up too much. It is also a very forgiving culture, in the sense of you know, there aren't too many social faux pas is very forgiving, people are understanding and they'll generally legal, they'll generally let you know if you've messed up. So that's not the right culture, right? telling you, you did something wrong, you probably didn't do anything wrong. And they understand there's different cultures, you know. So it is it is quite forgiving in that way as well. And then another tip would be to just be very friendly and to not sort of shy away from breaking what in your mind might be a professional boundary. So you know, sharing a little bit about your personal life when someone asks, maybe it's not something you would normally do. But if you feel comfortable, that will make the person feel closer to you. Again, with the names right, the Miss whatever versus first name basis, most people will be on first-name basis, going out for drinks, or talking about your personal life, things like that, I would encourage you to be more open maybe than you normally would. And then just like a very technical thing would be when writing emails. Israelis are known for writing short emails, sometimes to the point where they will put the entire message in the subject line. So don't be surprised if you receive emails like that. And you'll probably be more effective if you write short emails yourself. Okay,
Simon Kennell 26:29
Great. Great. Wow. Okay, so we really are giving some good takeaways. I'm kind of now I'm thinking about the Israeli students that I work with and how suspicious I might seem. So that's Yeah, this is good to know. This is good to know. Um, perfect. Well, I think we're gonna wrap it up there for today. But Keren, thank you so much for taking the time and yeah, giving us the masterclass on communication with Israelis.
Keren Hovav 27:01
Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. It was really fun.
Simon Kennell 27:03
Great, great. Great. Well, I think we're going to stop there unless there's anything else. Paola, Keren?
Paola Pascual 27:11
Just one little thing! We just released our, or started, our first Telegram channel. So if you're listening and you're on telegram look for Talaera Business English. We'll be sharing lots of tips and events and all the new great stuff coming.
Simon Kennell 27:30
Awesome. Cool. Cool. Cool. All right. Well, thank you both. Again, Keren. Thank you so much. And to all the listeners out there. I know we have a lot of his listeners in Israel and everywhere else around the world. I hope you enjoyed it. And as always, keep learning!
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