Specificity of the Lean Expert and Master Black Belt functions, their quality of Mentor is essential for the success of a change approach.
By definition, the mentor (corresponding to Sensei in Japanese: “ The one who was born before the other) is the one who serves guide, advise someone “. Behind this term lies a whole range of notions that are necessary to know.
This term comes from the name of Mentor, the tutor of Telemachus in Greek mythology. His name passes in our language in the eighteenth century to designate a person very experienced in a field and who supports the youngest. We are in a relationship close to the “parent / child” where he must be able to demonstrate a lot of Leadership, but not only.
The characteristics of the Mentor
Mentor learns a lot too – He does not know everything
First, the mentor is someone who learns from the people he supports. This is an opportunity to take a step back on what he knows, because the person he supports can challenge him. Because of his youth and his desire to learn, he will have his opinion and question the mentor in a relevant way. This one will then ask the question “He is right this young, I should review my way of doing. »
Remember our education. How many times have we challenged our parents who are our mentors. Often these have their reasons, but sometimes they have also been able to question themselves because their paradigms « old » no longer the taste of the day.
In this sense, the Mentor does not play the role of adviser who knows everything and asks his apprentice to do everything he tells him in a Top-Down relationship.
He has a sense of sharing
He is not a person who only says “it’s good or it’s bad “. He must have a keen sense of sharing. In this, the mentor will build a relationship of trust in :
- Openly sharing information.
- Supporting people.
- Showing coherence between thoughts, words and actions.
- Being accessible and available.
- Being predictable, reliable and responsible.
- Sharing the benefits and results.
He is a psychologist
The Mentor must have the qualities of the psychologist allowing him to be able to bring out to the learner his brakes, fears, questions, emotions, contradictions and ideas. He must know how to ask more questions than he can answer.
A professional relationship ?
Most often “played ” informally, Mentor’s position is complex. He must keep some distance with his learners. Over time, this relationship may evolve, but at the beginning, and the time that trust is present, the interviews will have to be prepared and formalized: agenda, report…
Know how to choose your Mentor and how to choose your learners…
For the learner, it is essential to feel good with your mentor. Choosing the “best” is not the right solution. It is above all, choosing the one with which we will feel the best to engage and evolve. Difficult to issue factual criteria for this, it’s a question of feeling. We will simply note that we must choose a Mentor who will have the necessary time to take care of us.
And vice versa. The Mentor must also feel good with his learner. It will be harder to mentor a person ” that he does not feel. »
His role in the approach
In a process of progress, the Mentor has an important role. Lean Expert or Master Black Belt, in this “function” mentor of the approach, he will have to :
- Ensure the proper use of methodologies.
- Helping Certified or Uncertified Teams: He is actively involved in developing staff.
- Know how to identify sponsors drivers : Besides the technical aspect of these roles, they are key to success as they are probably “well-placed” people, they have the power to harm or lead to success. We will use analysis of stakeholders and we will choose people in the category “cooperate”.