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Robert

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McKinsey PEI what does conflict in a team mean

Could someone share examples of successful PEI stories they have heard around managing conflict in a team?

Could someone share examples of successful PEI stories they have heard around managing conflict in a team?

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Hi Anonymous,

I am afraid that specific examples won't help you that much, since you need to base your own examples on your own background obviously.

Therefore I will rather focus on key elements to cover in a leadership story (leadership is the one focusing on interpersonal conficts in a team..):

  • Proactively taking on a leadership role in a given situation
  • Building an effective team with a common goal/vision
  • Focusing on interpersonal conflicts, not subject-matter related challenges

Examples of conflicting team situations:

  • Conflicts affecting the whole team (e.g. after a setback within a project how you find again a common way to proceed and motivate the team, leading a voluntary team and effectively distributing tasks which can potentially lead to conflicts in the team, ...)
  • Bilateral conflicts between 2 specific persons within the team (e.g. between you and a team member, or between two other team members which you needed to resolve)

Specifically for the McKinsey PEI, PrepLounge recently published a guide which is basically an excerpt of my "Ultimate McKinsey PEI Prep" ebook: https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/guides-8/the-secret-mckinsey-pei-cheat-sheet-42. If required we can also try to find a slot for a coaching session to discuss your specific examples and how to set up your examples in such a way that they are perfectly fitting to McKinsey's PEI requirements.

Hope this helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

I am afraid that specific examples won't help you that much, since you need to base your own examples on your own background obviously.

Therefore I will rather focus on key elements to cover in a leadership story (leadership is the one focusing on interpersonal conficts in a team..):

  • Proactively taking on a leadership role in a given situation
  • Building an effective team with a common goal/vision
  • Focusing on interpersonal conflicts, not subject-matter related challenges

Examples of conflicting team situations:

  • Conflicts affecting the whole team (e.g. after a setback within a project how you find again a common way to proceed and motivate the team, leading a voluntary team and effectively distributing tasks which can potentially lead to conflicts in the team, ...)
  • Bilateral conflicts between 2 specific persons within the team (e.g. between you and a team member, or between two other team members which you needed to resolve)

Specifically for the McKinsey PEI, PrepLounge recently published a guide which is basically an excerpt of my "Ultimate McKinsey PEI Prep" ebook: https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/guides-8/the-secret-mckinsey-pei-cheat-sheet-42. If required we can also try to find a slot for a coaching session to discuss your specific examples and how to set up your examples in such a way that they are perfectly fitting to McKinsey's PEI requirements.

Hope this helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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There are so many where I'm not sure examples will help here. I have heard stories from school projects, competitive sport to military deployment in Afghanistan. A few suggestions based on successful candidates I've seen for PEI:

1. Draw out the key elements of the question (i.e., transferable skills/experience) and make sure your story goes into enough detail to illustrate that (e.g., logical reasoning, empathy, influencing, collaboration, compromise, etc.)

2. Choose your MOST challenging example. You'll be surprised the number of times I've stopped the candidate and asked "is this the most challenging situation where you've had to x". You don't need to have received a Noble Peace Prize but it's still your opportunity to impress!

3. Use an appropriate structure to frame the story as a "problem" you solved as opposed to a long "once upon a time" story. McKisney is all about impact-oriented problem solving. PEI is something that you can be fully prepared for it's also important to practice telling your story in an engaging way

There are so many where I'm not sure examples will help here. I have heard stories from school projects, competitive sport to military deployment in Afghanistan. A few suggestions based on successful candidates I've seen for PEI:

1. Draw out the key elements of the question (i.e., transferable skills/experience) and make sure your story goes into enough detail to illustrate that (e.g., logical reasoning, empathy, influencing, collaboration, compromise, etc.)

2. Choose your MOST challenging example. You'll be surprised the number of times I've stopped the candidate and asked "is this the most challenging situation where you've had to x". You don't need to have received a Noble Peace Prize but it's still your opportunity to impress!

3. Use an appropriate structure to frame the story as a "problem" you solved as opposed to a long "once upon a time" story. McKisney is all about impact-oriented problem solving. PEI is something that you can be fully prepared for it's also important to practice telling your story in an engaging way

Thanks Ken. Do you have a good example of one in a professional work setting (ie boring old finance job) that’s not military/sport etc? The example I’m thinking of using is when I worked in a small office and there was an underperforming junior employee (not my direct report) who basically didn’t meet deadlines or respond to feedback and was causing a tense environment in the office. I stepped in to coach and mentor her to make her more useful for the office. The conflict part is that she would raise her voice when she was given feedback by me or other more senior team members.. What do you think? — Anonymous A on Oct 18, 2020

The example is completely fine. If I was to nitpick, I'm not sure I would frame the conflict (i.e., issue) as her raising her voice but more around her not performing to meet important deadlines. One additional thing to be aware of is that the conflict question can be asked both in the context of you with a specific individual OR working effectively within a group. Your story might be applicable to both but its important to pick up on the nuances. — Ken on Oct 18, 2020

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Hi there,

Any of the following could work:

  • Someone who wasn't doing their work
  • Someone who was vocally putting down the work/team
  • Two coworkers fighting/disputing with each other
  • A coworker fighting/disputing with you
  • A coworker flatly questioning your authority (if you're leading the team)
  • A coworker having a mental breakdown
  • Coworkers not working well together (i.e. poor communication)

Hi there,

Any of the following could work:

  • Someone who wasn't doing their work
  • Someone who was vocally putting down the work/team
  • Two coworkers fighting/disputing with each other
  • A coworker fighting/disputing with you
  • A coworker flatly questioning your authority (if you're leading the team)
  • A coworker having a mental breakdown
  • Coworkers not working well together (i.e. poor communication)
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Hello,

With this question, I understand your desire to be well prepared for your FIT part, but me personally, I don't think that hearing other stories about managing the conflicts will help you in that.

As a coach, I would recommend you to remember stories in your working experience of:

  • Interdependence/Task-Based Conflicts.
  • Leadership Conflicts.
  • Work Style Conflicts.
  • Personality-Based Conflicts.
  • Discrimination.
  • Creative Idea Conflict.

And think about your personal story using STAR+L structure (Situation, Task, Approach, Result and your Learnings)

Was it helpful to you?

GB

Hello,

With this question, I understand your desire to be well prepared for your FIT part, but me personally, I don't think that hearing other stories about managing the conflicts will help you in that.

As a coach, I would recommend you to remember stories in your working experience of:

  • Interdependence/Task-Based Conflicts.
  • Leadership Conflicts.
  • Work Style Conflicts.
  • Personality-Based Conflicts.
  • Discrimination.
  • Creative Idea Conflict.

And think about your personal story using STAR+L structure (Situation, Task, Approach, Result and your Learnings)

Was it helpful to you?

GB

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