Today is International Tea Day, and so we’re sharing stories of tea. There’s something about sharing a cuppa, and perhaps a bit of cake, that allows us to connect and engage a little more than when we just have a conversation. It can be time to sit and talk, share thoughts and ideas, re-energise each other, and enjoy being with like-minded people.
The NHS IQ Horizons Team decided to get together each Monday for the Radical Tea-Cup because they felt that they needed to have time each week to connect, to share, to be creative, and to look at what they can do differently. The Radical Tea Cup is a time for the team to say ‘wouldn’t it be great if…’ and to then look at whether they can turn their ideas into reality.
The radical tea cup is different from a normal tea-break, as although there is no agenda and no structure, this is not just a time to gossip over a drink: it’s a time to share ideas, to widen the conversation and to hear different voices.
Holding a regular tea-break in this way is also about giving themselves permission to take this time to think about the bigger picture and to open up the conversation. In a busy world, staff don’t always have the time to sit and talk over a cuppa; which is why the radical tea cup is optional: staff only join the conversation when they have the time to.
Top tips for a radical tea-cup
- Book a space and let your colleagues know when and where you’ll be meeting.
- Grab a drink and maybe some cake.
- This is not a formal, hierarchal meeting, so there is no chair and no agenda. You may wish to have someone take notes though to record all the creativity and great ideas bubbling up.
- If you have an idea, no matter how radical you may think it is, bring it to the meeting.
- Listen to everyone’s ideas.
- If you are looking for wider feedback on a piece of work this can be a space to open up the conversation to include people you don’t normally engage with.
- The radical tea-cup is want to, not have to.
There are many stories of staff taking the time to sit to drink a cuppa with patients and carers, or setting up tea breaks to bring staff together. If this is something you’ve done, share your story on the Change Day Twitter or Facebook feeds. And if you’re having a tea-break today, please take a photo and share it.
Sitting for a cup of tea together allows us to give support to our colleagues in a calm, creative environment. So let’s put the kettle on.