To explain what coaching is and what it is needed for in implementation projects of Lean Manufacturing, it is necessary to first of all call back today’s available and designated instruments in order to improve individual and collective performance.
The main goal of consulting is to advise experts on a specified field of abilities and regarding a specific problem.
The consultant helps the client to elaborate solutions, distinguish through different alternatives and to carry out the most appropriate choices for his situation.
The new knowledge and discoveries are brought by the consultant towards his client in a univocal direction.
The activity of mentoring calls for an exclusive personal relationship between one person with specific skills, experiences and knowledge and another person who needs to acquire similar expertise to that of the mentor.
The objective of the mentor is to make sure his “protégé” acquires the skills and knowledge he is still lacking.
In mentoring, the transfer of knowledge and skills takes place through giving advice, sharing mutual experiences and acting as a guide in a new context still unknown to the client.
Even in this activity, new knowledge and skills go from the mentor to the "protégé" in a unidirectional way.
Training activity concentrates on the development of new skills and knowledge.
This activity is carried out through: teaching method, presentation, dialogue, and experiences where one learns also through doing.
The role of the trainer is that of a person who is prepared to pass on the knowledge that the other person is lacking, through teaching sequences, tests and evaluations of learning degree.
Also in this case new knowledge and skills are passed on in a unidirectional way from the trainer to the trainee.
In the descriptions regarding the instruments of consulting, mentoring, counseling and training you will have noticed how the direction of the transfer of knowledge and skills always moves in a unidirectional way from the expert to the trainee.
In the activity of coaching the relationship is inverted.
The Coach is not the absolute expert on the subject, but he is the person who ensures through his questions and through the coaching process that the client is aware of the existing gap between what he is and what he wants to become.
The base premise from which the coach carries out his activity is that the knowledge and the skills are already found in the client; he just needs help to pull them out and fulfill them.
The “true” coach does not advise, does not train, does not present himself as an absolute expert to which one must kneel down before... but he brings forth the AWARENESS of what must change or what must be done to IMPROVE.
Then, once identified the gap and the objectives to be achieved, he accompanies the client in the journey of change, helping him find by himself the solutions and motivate him in the search for alternatives.
If it will be necessary and requested by the client, during the journey of change, the coach can take on, when appropriate, the roles of: mentor, trainer and consultant.
This based on the condition that he possesses the skills.
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