Tools and Guides for Mentors

Tool: Rotating Mentors

How does it work: 
the mentors move or rotate between the groups. They listen and support the teams—the Jammers feel continuously taken care off.

Needs:mentors doing this should have a feeling for group dynamics and should recognise when help is need, just before the teams struggle.

: it helps to avoid negative vibrations and makes it much easier to achieve a concrete output.

constantly during the ‘working’ phases. Highly recommended for all kinds and sizes of Jams.

We're Jamming: Rotating mentors. Picture by GSJ HQ.

We're Jamming: Feeback in between. Picture by GSJ HQ.

Tool: Feedback In Between…

How does it work: it is very useful to have several feedback rounds of different kinds.

Needs: you should keep in mind the group dynamic and different characters of the jammers to choose the right methods of feedback. You can shake Jammers up, but don’t make them miserable.

Why: with several feedback rounds you help keep teams working at a good, fast speed. It is also helpful for the whole Jam group dynamic because the jammers know what’s going on in other teams!  Remember, you can use video links or chat to share mentors with your Twin Jam!

When: at the major events during a jam (or every 3–4 hours). Perhaps three rounds on Saturday and two on Sunday?
 Highly recommended for all kinds and sizes of jams!

Tip: give Jammers an impossibly short timeframe like 2 minutes. When these two minutes are over, everyone claps—whether they are finished or not. This will make them concentrate on the really important aspects.

The ‘Green and Red Feedback’ Method

Gather all Jammers together, and ask one Jam team member to present their actual project progress to the entire audience. The first feedback round is about ‘What I like’ (= green) and the second round is about ‘What could be improved’ (= red). Each critical feedback (red) must offer a constructive way forward—no red feedback without a helpful suggestion! Neither arguing or explaining commentaries from the presenter nor the group… just, ‘Appreciating your feedback, thank’s a lot!’. (Applause).

Status Report Method with Question Set–up

Every team has to choose a speaker—they should rotate, so no one becomes a leader—to give a status report on the basis of following questions:

  1. What have you achieved up to now?
What was the biggest surprise?
  3. What was the biggest problem?
  4. Do you need anything? For example, helping hand from a designer, programmer…

‘Dragons’ Den’ Feedback Method

Meet a group of mentors in a private room to get ‘some hard feedback’. An entire Jam team should present their work and get a bunch of things that should be improved or they have forgotten. But there also should be suggestions offered to get the things done!

You want to share guidance and tools for mentoring… share them please!

< Using Your Jam Mentors Well  •  Guidance and Grease >


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