Mentoring and/or coaching practices
Meredith Henthorn 6130
Joined 02/28/2019 - 4 Posts
Hello!  I am a new member in the Houston area. 

I am a PhD student in Human Resource Development.  I am researching mentoring and/or coaching in quality management for a book chapter I am writing.  After several months of searching academic and other sources, I have found little content.  This is somewhat surprising, as I know that Master Black Belts (MBBs) are supposed to be engaged in mentoring Black Belts (BBs) and Green Belts (GBs).

Any guidance or resources you could send my way would be greatly appreciated. 

In addition, I am researching the growth of quality management and business excellence in the United Arab Emirates, so if you have relevant insights or resources on this topic, I would welcome receiving them. 

NB:  I formerly worked at General Electric Aviation where one aspect of my role was providing Human Resources support to the Engineering Six Sigma group, so I have some understanding of quality in industry 😀

Many thanks.
8 Replies
Stephanie Gaulding 267
Joined 04/21/2018 - 55 Posts
Hi Meredith,

First, welcome to ASQ and our Human Development and Leadership Division. We are so happy to have you here and this is such a great question.

I'm a bit curious as to what types of search terms you may have been using (i.e. what have you been trying to find). I'm not sure if you will find anything specific to coaching/mentoring in quality management. There are lots of great books and articles out there on coaching and mentoring just not necessarily written to be specific to quality management (at least that I've seen). Would you be willing to share some more about what you are looking for and maybe I or another division member can point you to some resources.

Kind regards,


Meredith Henthorn 6130
Joined 02/28/2019 - 4 Posts
Hi Stephanie, thank you for helping.  I think what you wrote in your response captures what I am looking for - it's a very open question.  I wouldn't necessarily expect a quality-specific mentoring approach to exist, but I wanted to check.  Given quality is broad, perhaps various quality areas (healthcare quality management, for example) may have adapted generic mentoring practices to specific needs.

My understanding is various practitioners and/or professional organizations sometimes attempt to customize generic mentoring practices to align with specific industry or discipline needs.  For example, nursing delineates the role of the preceptor from the mentor.  Several educators have proposed teacher mentoring frameworks to align with phased approaches to teacher development.  The NIH (National Institutes of Health) in the United States has an established training content for biomedical mentors:

Companies sometimes customize specific mentoring approaches.  Sometimes a competency model is used as the basis for developing customized mentoring approaches.  I think various fire fighter professional associations encourage competency-based mentoring.

So, in sum, checking to see if there is anything like this for quality. 

I found a couple of books that recommend coaching-type processes for teaching Lean and Toyota Production System, but that's all I have found so far. 

No worries if there is nothing like this.  Just want to be sure I wasn't overlooking any resources that might exist. 

Thanks for your help! 
Andrea Gural 1685
Joined 06/03/2018 - 14 Posts
Welcome Meredith!  I'm Andrea, the division Treasurer for 2019 and we share a GE background! I was at GE Aviation in Talent Acquisition under Black Belt Ops Mgr Eric Woolf and my Director was Miranda.  You're in great hands here and especially with Stephanie! She's our Chair-elect and basically the Yoda of ASQ and our division. 😊
Janet Lentz 4611
Joined 11/29/2018 - 34 Posts
Hi Meredith,

I have been in a management position in Quality Assurance for about 25 years. At one time I was promoted in charge of a large group lacking in leadership and conflict management skills. Because I wanted to be a success in my new position, I hired a professional executive coach to help me work through a lot of issues. I got so much out of the experience I went to coaching school for a year and became a certified professional coach myself. Afterwards I designed and proposed a mentoring program to my employer, and was given permission to mentor/coach two volunteers in a pilot program (neither of which reported to me), each with a specific goal in mind. At the same time I designed and delivered soft skill and leadership training to my staff which improved their performance and greatly reduced the need for HR involvement in interpersonal issues. 

Because there was nothing like a mentoring program in use at the time, and because our HR group viewed it with skepticism, I designed the program with periodic updates in place with the volunteers' managers and also with the HR Director. I designed specific forms for this so they would have some documentation of dates and times we met, etc. Giving them regular feedback on progress helped alleviate their concerns. 

Meredith Henthorn 6130
Joined 02/28/2019 - 4 Posts
Hi Janet, thank you for sharing.  So you as a leader identified a need for mentoring within your group, took the initiative to design and implement a mentoring program along with soft skill and leadership training, and quelled skepticism through your stewardship and open communication.  That is powerful.  Your organization is fortunate to have you!

I was just at the International Mentoring Association Conference last week at University of Florida.  I attended a number of sessions on mentoring in cross-cultural, international, and underrepresented population contexts.  My understanding is - perhaps somewhat in alignment with Janet's post - that the organizational climate has to be welcoming and soft skills need to already be established in order for mentoring programs to be highly effective.  It sounds as if Janet laid the foundation for mentoring with soft skill and leadership training of the broader team.

Hi Andrea, good to hear from a fellow GE Aviation alumna!  As an HR Rep, I also supported the Engineering Tools CoE, the Chief Engineers Office, Repair, and a few other groups. 

Looking forward to learning from everyone here.  Thanks for sharing your insights. 
Meredith Henthorn 6130
Joined 02/28/2019 - 4 Posts
Sharing coaching resources I found authored by an ASQ Fellow (mentoring and coaching are different) should anyone else be interested:

Janet Lentz 4611
Joined 11/29/2018 - 34 Posts
It has often been my experience that companies reserve formal mentoring programs only for those identified as high potentials. I’ve always thought of that as sadly missed opportunity to improve the organization as a whole.
Amanda Foster 1083
Joined 05/07/2018 - 637 Posts
There's a Teamwork and Participation Forum at ASQ, they might have more information.