The Tea-Brief

What would happen if we took five minutes, just for us?
Published on 16 May 2018
Tea Brief

A tea-brief is a debrief with a difference. It's an opportunity to take time for reflection, and build stronger relationships in a staff team.

You can take a tea-brief after an incident, or can choose to ringfence time for a tea-brief when you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Tea-briefs are also about reflection and sharing positive feedback.

We know that this happens already in some teams, but by giving it a name, we hope to give all social care staff permission to take the time they need to acknowledge their feelings and support each other.

What do you need to make a tea-brief?

  • It works best in a building based service
  • An allocated, quiet space to have a break, conversation and a cup of tea (or coffee)
  • Understanding from the full staff team the importance of protected time
  • Permission and support from team leaders and managers that these breaks are an investment in the team

Who developed the tea-brief?

The Telford Centre is a small care home in the Highlands which was struggling with many of the same challenges facing rural residential care settings across Scotland. They noticed that when staff were feeling overwhelmed, they didn't always have access to the breathing space they needed to centre their emotions and support each other.

If a tea brief isn't for you

We know a tea-brief isn't for everyone, and we hope that every team will have the chance to develop their own way to connect and support each other.

You may find it useful to focus on a single experience that your team finds challenging, and explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

The aim is to engage with your emotions and develop behaviours that interrupt negative cycles. Remember, no idea is too small and there's no harm in trying something new.

Supporting Workforce Challenges

Hands hold a cup of tea

This tool was developed through qualitative improvement work with the Telford Centre in Fort Augustus. Learn more about this project.