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experience of the area to be covered.
Reading and Discussion: The reading and discussion of a text form an integrated activity.
The discussion questions are intended to lead participants into a more focused reading. With
most texts, except the very short ones, you should concentrate on one or two paragraphs at
a time. First ask participants to read through the complete text to get the general picture,
clarify any minor queries they may have but do not go into detail, and then go into a full
discussion of the first one or two paragraphs.
You will find that most discussion questions first ask participants to reflect on their own
experience and then ask them how they would apply the ideas in the text. Here the RADAR
questions provide a helpful tool. The RADAR Questions
A Are the ideas in the text relevant to my company?
How would I apply each of them?
What difficulties might I meet and how would I overcome them?
Are there any additional actions that I might take that are not
mentioned in the text?
R What resources would be needed, what would they cost, and how
could they be acquired? Discussion is best treated as a group activity. If you have a small number of participants this
will be quite straightforward. With a larger number – seven or more – form two or more
small groups of 3 to 5 members (4 is often optimal) to sit separately and discuss the first
question/s. One person could take notes. Then each group summarises its conclusions to
the other groups (or to you if there is only one group), and receives feedback. Alternatively
two groups can get together, compare their conclusions, and try to reach a set of agreed
conclusions. Then go on to the next paragraph/s.
You need not take an active part in the discussion unless it is slow to get going, in which
case you should prompt participants a little. Your primary role as trainer will be to
encourage participation, and to monitor the discussions to ensure that they are going in the
right direction – discussion can often be held back by participants telling long anecdotes
about their own experiences, spending too much time on some detail, or going off on
Participants should finish these discussions with clear ideas for improvements in their
company, the obstacles that lie in the way, and how these obstacles could be overcome.
Action plan: Participants will now move on to preparing an action plan to present to
decision makers in their company. After the dynamic of the discussion, with the RADAR
questions, the ideas that go into the Action Plan will not be the guidelines in the text, but
A Roadmap to Quality 3 Trainer Guidelines Trainer Guidelines.qxd 3/10/05 12:31 PM Page 4 rather the participants’ conclusions about these guidelines. They may have decided to leave
some out, adapt some, or add some new ideas of their own.
The action plan, too, is best prepared in a group activity, whether in the training room or
with participants meeting on their own elsewhere. The 6-Point Structure, shown below, will
provide a useful framework. The 6-Point Structure
1. Problems: Problems you have in your company in the area you have just discussed.
2. Proposals: Your proposals for improvement.
a. Be specific and concrete.
b. Include an implementation plan, with a time schedule and minimum and optimal
c. Refer to any forms, charts or tables that you would use, and include samples in
3. Obstacles: Obstacles to implementation in employee attitudes, company organization
and culture etc., and how these might be overcome.
a. The resources required: funds, equipment, materials, man-hours, expertise etc.
b. The resources available within the company.
c. Any resources that would have to be found outside the company.
d. Alternatives that could be used to cover any shortfall in resources.
5. Assessment: Ways of assessing the results of implementing these proposals.
6. Benefits: The benefits your proposals would bring. Again, groups can benefit greatly from sharing their action plans with other groups. One
way of doing this is a client-consultant role-play. Two groups give or email each other a first
draft of their action plan, read each other’s plans carefully, and then hold a role-play
meeting in which they take it in turns to be client and consultant. The consultants give
feedback to the client – what they like about the plan, anything they find unclear, where they
see problems arising and how these might be dealt with. This should be interactive and not
simply an exchange of feedback. You may choose to give feedback yourself after the roleplay. If you have more than two groups the other groups may be invited to watch each role
play and give their feedback. Decide yourself on whatever approach you think will be
After the client-consultant scenarios, each group prepares a second draft of their action plan
and gives it to you for your critique. It is best if they do this by email, so that you can use the
comment and track-changes functions in your word-processing programme...
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- Spring '12