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Tell me about a time you have led a team through a conflict!

PrepLounge: Personal Fit
New answer on Jul 06, 2023
13 Answers
2.4 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Sep 19, 2019

How would you answer this question in your Personal Fit interview? Receive feedback on your answer and browse through the Q&As to review the approaches of other applicants and experts.

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Daniel
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 24, 2020
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews

This question is a part of McKinsey personal fit Leadership dimension. Here it’s important to focus on a few things while telling your story:

  • Highlight your interpersonal skills, i.e. focus on how you felt, what you thought about how other people felt, and why you thought other people acted some way or the other (vs focusing on content of the problem);
  • Show that you are able to take initiative, also in a difficult situation like this one;
  • Demonstrate that you can efficiently work with all kinds of people, no matter how difficult they are.

Best,
Daniel

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 25, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

This relates to "Personal impact" dimension, where stories relate to stakeholder management, by handling disagreement or conflict situations.

  • Pick a professional disagreement
  • Explain carefully the arguments you used to convince the rest of the team

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Anonymous F replied on Nov 22, 2022

Halfway through my MBA, I had a new team for the sustainability consulting assignment. Two of my peers had worked together in the previous term, and an elephant was in the room. In fact, they had an unreconciled conflict that further escalated as we progressed in the new assignment. To avoid a negative impact on our deliverable, I had to step up and take the leadership seat. By arranging one-on-ones with both counterparts and collectively developing and agreeing on a project plan, I was able to de-escalate the situation and deliver the assignment on time and with a distinguished result.

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Anonymous E replied on Nov 09, 2022

I was in a team of three (me, Student A and Student B) in one of the courses that I had to pass for my PhD. We had to produce a paper based on a statistical methodology  taught in the course to pass it. The expectations by our supervisors were set really high because this methodology in frequently used in publications and producing a good paper would show that we can potentially use it for a publication in the future. 

Initially we set a goal to produce the data ourselves from a model. I gathered some relevant literature and we shared responsibilities. Mine was to see if we can produce some simulations relevant to out topic. However, me and student A soon got bigger responsibilities for our PhDs and we realised we need to prioritize our research. Thus, we informed Student B that we need to narrow down the scope.

However, Student B that was newer in the lab showed some anxiety issues and he soon expressed that he did not want to work with Student A because he thought he was competitive. There was a conflict started by Student B for this reason. But we still needed to catch the deadline. Thus we divided again the project, I gathered data from literature with Student A and planned the paper while Student B was on vacation. I started a Matlab code and I knew that Student B was also strong in coding so we shared the responsibilities accordingly. When Student B came back from vacation I invited him for lunch break to discuss what makes him anxious about the research. The main issue was that he had problems with his supervisor.

At the end our group project was really stand out and we passed the course, by allocating also the right amount of time. What I learnt was to put emotions on the side in a difficult situation, to try to understand the deeper roots of the bad behaviour of colleagues even if I do not agree and that high quality work can be produced by dividing the work well and setting reasonable goals.

 

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C replied on Feb 17, 2022

led squad in kuwait through mine field

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Andrei replied on Aug 28, 2021

Very stressful team mate but very prof and responsible made the rest of the team feel underestimated and stressed. I explained the team the actual grounds for dissatisfaction in an acceptable manner with the direct recommendations of what to do and how to avoid the conflicts later and I had to mitigate the stress of the guy by recognising her positive impact on the result but highlighting soft skills fiasco which was unacceptable for a manager aspiring to move to the very top. 

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Anonymous G replied on Jul 06, 2023

a                           

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Jakob replied on Apr 05, 2023

Different opinions of two stakeholder groups about the shift of the intellectual property (IP) of the parent company during a spin off process and the foundation of a SaaS business: 

A: The shareholders of the current company did not want to shift the IP immediately to the new spin off after the foundation of the company because of the risk, to loose the property right in the case of a failure of the project.

 

B: The new co founders of the future spin off were expecting to hold the intellectual property from the beginning of the foundation within the new company. One reason therefore was their planned investment volume to get part of the captable, which was based on a pre money valuation of the spin off including the intellectual property.

 

As a compromise, i suggested to conclude a contract between both partys that allowed the spinn off the use the IP without any restrictions. In addition, a shift of the IP was planned and connected to specific success milestones that the spinn off needed to fulfill. This strategy allowed both parties safeguarding their interests while the risks of loosing the IP in the case of an insolvency could kept to a minimum.

 

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Sven updated an answer on Apr 06, 2022

 a

(edited)

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Anonymous D replied on Jan 16, 2022

Yesterday

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Anonymous C replied on Dec 09, 2021

get another job

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Anonymous B replied on Nov 19, 2021

there was new  business workplace built up due to work space  limitations. we all option of shifting the marketing & sales team to new place rather than stay in old workplace.  

In my opinion, moving immediately the team to new workplace shall affect business as client will not aware but marketing team bit happy to new place and upset as I explained and suggest to move 35 % of marketing and sales team. 

gradually within 6- 8 month Period, the whole team can move to new work place. 

 

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Eleonora replied on Oct 23, 2021

During a projectwork for a pm exam, everyone in the team wanted to do a business  plan in a certain manner. Highlighting positive aspects of every propose and spending time making stronger boundaries with the coworkers makes the conflict less harder than at the beginning

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Daniel gave the best answer

Daniel

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