Whether they consist of undergraduate or graduate students, to be successful, case competition teams must work together closely and intensely. Rapid team development becomes a priority if they are to be effective during case preparation as well as presentation. This includes getting to know each other well, understanding and utilizing their relative strengths, and assigning roles and responsibilities thoughtfully. Psychometric tools not only expedite this process, but can provide a language for students to talk about how they will maximize their team's behavioral profile.
Whether the tools are utilized for screening/selecting student participants, configuring teams, or understanding and managing team dynamics, individual and team psychometric data provides insight into such traits and skills including conscientiousness, sociability, creativity, dominance, empathy, impulse control, coachability, and many, many others. This information assists teams (and their coaches) in determining which member(s) are best suited for specific roles and situations, managing potentially challenging interpersonal dynamics, and enhancing trust and overall team development.
These tools can be utilized at several stages on the road to a case competition: 1. SELECTION: to determine if students are a good fit for specific case competitions, as well as understanding their individual strengths and gaps; 2. CONFIGURATION: once students have been selected, this data can be utilize to determine how individual students may or may not complement each others' styles and skills; 3. DEVELOPMENT: once teams are finalized, team feedback workshops facilitate open and honest conversation about individual styles and motivators, while providing a unique team-building experience that enhances student's self-awareness well beyond the competition.
Participating in any case competition can be a challenging and amazing opportunity for students. One of the keys to a strong performance is to focus on building the team as early as possible...helping students to know each other, use their strengths, and learn to communicate and collaborate in the stressful environment of a case competition. Michael Klein's knowledge as a former judge and skills as a psychologist and facilitator helped my students understand and maximize their talents...leading us right to first place. We could not have done it without him.
Doing a group profile with Michael Klein was highly beneficial for our team as it allowed us to gain a deeper insight into each team member's communication tendencies, ideal environments, and specific value-add. It was great to be able to reflect on what allowed us to win and how to utilize these aforementioned insights in future endeavours both in a professional and personal capacity. Michael was an excellent facilitator in our team's reflection process.
In case competitions, a key differentiator is team rapport. Being able to know your personality style, and understanding your team members' styles, promotes comprehension and a much more empathic approach to case preparation and debate. Our team had never worked together before. Through Michael Klein's program, we got to know each other quickly, and determine how we could best play off each others' strengths. It also helped us keep cool and collaborative despite a very stressful competitive environment. I believe this was our secret sauce to taking 1st place!
We confirmed lots of things we experienced but didn't put into words. In the competition, communication is key, any team that is not able to reach agreements fast and effectively under pressure will have a very tough ride. Knowing our different personality styles beforehand would have made the process of building our dynamic much easier.
Dr. Klein's team profile assessment helped me better understand my own working style, not only in the case room, but in my personal and professional development. I feel as though it helped me become more attentive to my behavior in interpersonal settings. As a result, I can better describe my own strengths and weaknesses to others, making me a more effective team member.