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Obstacles and success factors · Differing business practices · Differing business ethics Language barriers 3 ­ 3 Virtual teams are likely to encounter language barriers among members. Although many individuals are comfortable conversing in multiple languages, they are not usually as comfortable applying the spelling and grammar rules common to each language. Consequently, team members need to ignore the other members' use of grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and instead focus on the message's content. Lack of a shared history Individuals who share a common history often develop words, phrases, and slang unique to their situation. When individuals begin interacting with others who do not share the same history, different meanings attached to language and behaviors can be misinterpreted and can lead to misunderstandings. Jokes and sarcasm are particularly dangerous and should be avoided until team members have developed a sense of trust and camaraderie. If a team member's comments or actions seem offensive, it is always best to assume that the member's intentions were innocent rather than malicious. Instead of jumping to conclusions based on experience, approach the member privately, determine their intentions, and ask them to refrain from similar comments or actions in the future.