"The squeaky wheel gets the grease" Which means it is best to speak up according to Americans. But a saying in Japan the goes; " The nail that sticks out gets hammered back in" which implies that it is better to keep quiet. That is one difference that you can find between cultures but there are also similarities in the way we communicate. The way families communicate are pretty similar wherever you go, Other types of groups have their own way of communicating also.
In America it is usually better to be more direct in most situations than in other cultures. If you don't tell people what you want you are seen as being insecure or lacking in confidence. A man especially in today's society must be certain of his statements or he is thought to be soft. Whereas a woman can get away with more indirect way of talking because we are thought to be a weaker sex any way and a woman who always asks for exactly what she she wants is too bossy or a bitch even.
Both genders use indirectness but in different situations if they are talking to a boss, co-worker or an employee there are different ways to say and get what you want out of the person(s) being asked.
In Japan there is a lot more use of indirectness because it is impolite of a person to demand with directness something even if they are below your status. You are expected to know what you are supposed to do as a person of lower status so you do not really need to be asked but rather state the situation and let them know through indirect statements that they are to take over. In Japan they often give greater value to silence...