Brief Encounters® Skills Training (B.E.S.T)

When employees are having personal problems, it can affect employee engagement, work productivity, and staff morale.

Brief Encounters® Skills Training (B.E.S.T) is an evidence-based program designed to help managers handle difficult conversations, and help address core personal issues in a way that employees feel listened to, supported, and empowered.


The B.E.S.T. training builds on your empathic listening skills, enabling you to identify the support people need and how to offer it. It’s not about turning you into an agony aunt; it’s about equipping you with the skills you need to help staff to work through issues that affect their work life and, ultimately, your business.

In the session you will learn how to:

  • identify the key issues that people need support with
  • avoid offering advice that could be unhelpful
  • help people make decisions about what to do next
  • keep the conversation on track and bring it to a close

The training is designed to help you feel more confident in recognising a difficult issue, getting to the bottom of it, and helping identify what to do next.

Where this kind of conversation can often take a long time, the Brief Encounters® model helps you to achieve a positive result quickly – often in just 10 minutes.

After training in B.E.S.T., the number of professionals who felt confident in their ability to respond to someone having couple relationship issues rose from 46.8% to 93.6%.

The number of professionals who felt “able to recognise when an employee or client is experiencing difficulties with their partner” increased from 57.7% to 95.8% after training. 

Following their participation in B.E.S.T., 100% of professionals said they were likely to use the Brief Encounters® model to “help have conversations around relationships with employees or clients”. 

To summarise, here’s what we expect B.E.S.T to achieve:

  • Improvements in employee engagement
  • Increased employee resilience (linked to pressure, anxiety and stress)
  • Decreased presenteeism (two-three times as costly as absenteeism)
  • Reduction of the ripple effect that can lower team morale
  • Both employee and organisational wellbeing
  • Improvements to manager-employee relationships

Our original training program, Brief Encounters®, was developed for the health service, and of the 5,000+ managers who underwent the training, 97% said their confidence had increased. If your organisation would like a free pilot of B.E.S.T, please contact Kate Nicolle at or call  0203 0967 602.