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Table 2 Summary of suggestions for a successful multicultural VT

From: Working with multicultural virtual teams: critical factors for facilitation, satisfaction and success

Suggestions for Facilitators Define the goals as clearly and transparent as possible at the very beginning
  Begin with face-to-face team-building session with intercultural activities by using topics that team members can relate to from their everyday lives prior to VT launch (kick offs) and then move into virtual context
  Establish personal relationships (For instance, make room for some personal one-on-one time with the team members to get to know them better and to establish better rapport, if possible) to
Improve cultural intelligence (i.e. capability to deal and communicate effectively in culturally diverse settings, e.g. using more intensive, culturally appropriate, relationship-building strategies) and
Increase openness to cultural diversity (i.e. the degree of receptivity to perceived dissimilarity, e.g. the cultural differences in terms of communication styles
Build trust
Foster creativity
  Use richer communication channels such as video, audio, etc. rather than lean communication channels such as text that lacks nonverbal cues (at least, at the beginning of the teamwork)
  Master VT technology
  Consider the content-communication-technology compatibility and effectiveness (e.g. use audio conference for discussing the milestones or critical work packages to avoid any misunderstanding about the task at hand rather than written communication while using e-mail to check the progress about an ongoing task).
  Improve the necessary team management skills such as checking the progress, questioning, fostering participation, managing conflict and anxiety etc.
  In case of a problem or conflict,
Avoid “taking sides.”
Clarify and address problem,
Give clear instructions,
Focus on the issues and
Work toward solutions.
  Give immediate, positive, informative and constructive feedback on results
Suggestions for Team Members Identify other team members’ cultural values and understand how they differ from one’s own as well as the similarities
  Learn the cultural logic of others’ divergent beliefs
  Respect, accept and tolerate the differences
  Communicate utilizing the netiquette rules at all times while avoiding using slang or other culture specific terms
Suggestions for Designers Follow user-centered design methods, especially the participatory design approach, which is the best development approach for creating a cyber-environment for VTs
  Be aware of the lack of social cues or emotions (facial expressions, body language, etc.), which makes electronic communication different than the communication in a face-to-face environment.
  Consider the content-technology compatibility