Unless you have worked for an incompetent team, or a group of “Yes Men”, you would have faced a few conflicts either with you as a personality or with the ideas you recommend. Conflict in itself is not bad. In fact, most teams develop deep camaraderie after they settle their differences. The problem arises when the conflict about ideas or authority becomes personal dislikes. Most team would question the authority of the leader, at least initially, but once they realize the commitment of the leader, his competence (leadership & domain expertise) and focus on the goals, the suspicion turns into trust and respect.
With over 40 nationalities represented in a typical MBA class, conflict can arise due to communication, cultural or personality gaps. MBA AdCom wants to know whether you would react immaturely, and disrupt the learning experience, or you would take the effort to understand the root cause of the problem, and work towards resolving them successfully. When conflict escalates, team engagement disintegrates, leading to low productivity and morale. Companies miss deadlines, and client goals become unachievable. An MBA class has several hands-on opportunities, and companies put their trust in the class with team projects. Your ability to resolve conflicts becomes a critical factor for your selection. It is one thing to work with diverse teams, and other to react poorly when faced with conflict.
Depending on the designation, and the role you were entitled in the project, you would have resolved the conflict in four ways:
Although this method is not recommended while resolving conflict, there would be crucial times in the project when time becomes even more scarce, and you would have to take a stand, rightly or wrongly, but decisions, however favorable to one group was essential at the time. Avoid stating such instances as it undermines the purpose of the ‘Conflict Resolution’ question.
Ideally, you should state an example where you took the consensus from both the team regarding a decision or an idea, and later went ahead and implemented them. Aligning your team towards a decision is essential when it comes to ....
1) Booth School of Business
2) Columbia Business School
3) Ivey Business School
4) Johnson Graduate School of Management
6) Kellogg School of Management
7) Stanford Graduate School of Business
8) London Business School
9) Harvard Business School
10) MIT Sloan School of Management
11) Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Team Discussion Strategy + Interview Tips)
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19. How do you define Success?
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