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Follow-up: Unprofessional group chats in consulting?

project management
New answer on Feb 29, 2024
8 Answers
273 Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 11, 2024

Last year, I posted this question in the PrepLounge forum and received some really helpful replies from contributors. 

In the end I raised the issue around being able to keep on top of general chat activity during calls and put my head down for the rest of the project, but didn't get into specifics.

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/unprofessional-group-chats-in-consulting-15787 

I am now moving on from the firm to a new role elsewhere and my question is 
- Can I escalate/raise this behaviour now I am on the way out? 
- Or is it not worth it at this stage? 

(edited)

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Gero
Expert
replied on Jan 11, 2024
Ex-BCG │200+ Interviews & Interview Coachings @ BCG │ 20+ candidates coached into MBB │WHU/LSE/Nova │ Teacher & Trainer

Hi there,

You have to ask yourself what “being worth it” means. That is a deeper question on what your values are.

Since only you can do that work, two related considerations on this very disappointing situation:

1. As much as I would have encouraged you to bring this up right away—escalating the matter from April 2023, now 9 months later (for the first time)—will be perceived by your colleagues as a bit odd, considering the ad-hoc and transparent feedback culture consulting companies seek to foster. So be ready to face some backlash.

2. You are probably (just an assumption, as I am by no means an expert on that) legally obliged to ensure that no client materials are stored privately. Since I doubt that the materials are stored on Teams, SharePoint, etc., you may be obliged to escalate the issue or otherwise ensure that the files are deleted.

These were just two considerations, not a direct answer to your question. Going forward, I would do a bit of self-inquiry on what really stopped you from bringing up this topic, since the topic is rightly important to you. Perhaps this could be a chance to draw conclusions from that reflection on how you would like to deal with such events in the future.

Hope that could help a little.

Best,
Gero

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Dennis
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 12, 2024
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

many firms have a contact for compliance matters where issues are treated confidentially (or also anonymously). 

However, in a work environment that prides itself in being fast-acting, results-oriented and feedback-driven, you must ask yourself the question of how it reflects on you that you have been waiting for 9 months to raise the topic. 

  • Was it just an individual doing this or was the entire project team participating (incl. manager and partner)?
  • Did this sort of behavior go beyond your project team?
  • Are you observing that people are still engaging in this sort of behavior now, 9 months later?
  • Is this an issue that was a deciding factor for you to leave the firm?

If you have good answers on the above, you might consider bringing it up either anonymously or carefully in your exit interview. 

Otherwise, you probably should just let it go at this point given that you are leaving anyway.

Good luck for your next endeavor

 

 

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Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2024
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on your career trajectory thus far!

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your situation:

  • First of all, considering the timing and your upcoming transition, escalating the issue about unprofessional group chats could potentially burn bridges. While it's important to address such issues, timing and context are key. Since you're on your way out, the impact of your feedback might not be as effective as it would have been while you were fully engaged in the role.
  • Moreover, you should consider the potential repercussions on your professional reputation. The consulting world is often interconnected, and negative feedback given during an exit could be perceived unfavorably. It's important to leave on good terms, preserving relationships for future networking and career opportunities.
  • Lastly, if you strongly feel that this issue should be addressed for the betterment of the firm's culture, I would advise you to approach it in a constructive manner. Share your feedback in a way that focuses on improving the work environment, rather than as a parting criticism. This could be done through an exit interview or a carefully worded email to HR or a trusted mentor within the firm.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Florian
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replied on Jan 11, 2024
Highest-rated McKinsey coach (ratings, offers, sessions) | 500+ offers | Author of The 1% & Consulting Career Secrets

Hi there,

That is a tricky situation.

The best course of action is to first talk with your internal mentor about such things. This person is much more experienced and can guide you to the relevant people to raise this issue with if you decide to do so.

A few questions to consider (likely also what your mentor might share with you):

  1. Why raise it now and not directly when it happened?
  2. Why did you not discuss this with the involved people directly over a coffee chat or lunch before reporting it to a third party?

All the best in your new role!

Cheers,

Florian

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Alberto
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 11, 2024
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

I strongly suggest you address the issue using the appropriate internal (and typically anonymous) mechanisms of the firm you are leaving. 

This behaviors should be not tolerated at all and you will be doing the right thing for next newcomers. 

Best,

Alberto

Check out my latest case based on a real MBB interview: Sierra Springs

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Cristian
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Content Creator
replied on Jan 11, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there!

First of all, it's impressive to see that you care so much about this and that you want to do something about it. I respect that. 

My recommendation would be to reach out to the firm's ombudsman - virtually all firms have one. This person can also protect your identity, while also being senior enough to have significant influence and take action. 

It shows real courage of you to bring up the topic and I hope you take these values with you as you transition into a new role.

All the best,
Cristian

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Nikita
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updated an answer on Jan 13, 2024
MBB & Tier2 preparation | 85+ offers | 7 years coaching | 2000+ sessions | PDF reviews attached

Hey,

That's a tricky issue.

Was your colleagues' behaviour unprofessional ? - Absolutely.

Does it make sense / is it worth bringing it up now ? - I highly doubt it.

To me it seems that it can do more harm than good to all, including yourself. It's also a bit surprising that this situation keeps bothering you after 9 months' time it happened. You will gain very little by reporting this, but may potentially burn bridges for further interactions.

But, ultimately, it's your decision to make.

Good luck,
Nick

 

(edited)

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Jan 11, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

So glad we were able to help.

Ultimately, this is a personal decision.

There are many factors that one needs to consider and different people will come to different conclusions. I cannot advise you as I do not know you, your values, your goals, and, ultimately, HOW you would plan to navigate this situation (it matters immensely WHAT/HOW you plan to act).

Me personally? In the past I have raised these issues. But I have been VERY CAREFUL in how I did it in a politically sensitive way that protected my *ahem*

Best of luck with your decision.

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Gero gave the best answer

Gero

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