One of the new things I was exposed to this week at McKinsey was the team learning session. This session is typically done at the start of every new project, and is meant for each team member to give an overview of the following:
1. A little bit about themselves, tenure at McKinsey, family, interests etc.
2. Professional priorities: where they are in their career, what skills and experiences they want to have to get to the next stage etc.
3. Personal priorities: What are their personal priorities like spending as much time with family as possible, keeping weekends free, taking time out for workouts etc.
4. Myers Brigg personality type, which might give an indication of what might it would be like to work with this person.
This sort of session helped us decide what roles each team member should take, how we should work together in terms of where we work from, the timings we work at, and how we should balance being at the client side, and being back in office. The discussion was very useful in establishing teamwork norms; in fact, I believe that it should become part of more organizations' work culture to have such discussions. Not only do these discussions help in learning your teammmates priorities and stating yours, it also help in getting to know a little bit more about your teammates. I had learned the importance of having such a conversation and creating a 'team contract' in our leadership in organizations course at Kellogg. However in this busy life, such conversations are often ignored to save time. My future teammates at Kellogg beware: here come some team learning discussions!