The ultimate team building event…
I am delighted to be interviewing Mark Anthony Baker who organises what he refers to as ‘one of the most powerful teambuilding events available anywhere in the world today’. What is of particular interest to our readers is that it’s available right here in the Channel Islands, so let’s dive straight in…
Firewalking as a team building event Mark, really! Isn’t that a bit extreme?
As an initial response that’s quite understandable, but the impact it has on teams and the dramatic changes it creates make it one of the most powerful team building events in the world today.
So, what are the key benefits derived from this kind of event?
The benefits are many, but one of the most powerful reasons it’s so effective is because it allows people to share a profound experience together, which bonds people at a deep subconscious level in ways they would rarely, if ever, experience otherwise. When this happens, we bond at such a deep level the effects are long lasting. Enabling those extraordinarily deep connections that are otherwise not often experienced and difficult to create.
Sounds fascinating, how does this happen?
When you walk across hot embers at a temperature of over 500 degrees you are challenging one of your earliest and most deeply held beliefs which is “Don’t touch the fire or you will get burned”. However, when you walk across hot coals and emerge unscathed you subconsciously begin to ask yourself “If I can walk across fire without being burned what else can I do?”
The answer to that question is a great deal more than what we currently think and believe we can achieve.
We all have limiting beliefs that prevent us from releasing the potential that lies within each and everyone of us. Firewalking acts as a catalyst that allows us to transcend these limiting beliefs as it essentially, physically demonstrates to us that we can do something that we previously didn’t believe was possible.
After all, if we can successfully walk on fire, then there really isn’t much that we can be faced with in a corporate or personal setting that can be viewed as even slightly daunting by comparison.
As the firewalkers are all nervous about what is ahead, adrenalin is released. This creates the desire to support each other which brings out the best in us as people. The impact it has on the group escalates dramatically when they successfully complete the walk together. There really isn’t much you could do within a safe environment that would allow a company to bond at such a deep level. It often creates a euphoric reaction in people which makes it highly memorable.
This all sounds really fascinating Mark and makes perfect sense, but what long-term benefits can individuals and companies expect to derive from doing this and can you give me an example of what a company could use this type of event for.
The reasons a company can use this event for are many – from bonding teams to using it as a powerful way for kicking off a new project or helping them confront a big challenge that they will be collectively facing. It could be a takeover, a massive expansion or even a contraction.
There are too many benefits to list them all here but some of the key ones include;
- Deep bonding causes the creation of strong teams as people become more invested in the good of the group as opposed to being a group of individuals operating from a point of self-interest
- It allows us to release more potential
- Dramatically increases confidence
- Alters our perception and creates a significant increase in self-belief both as individuals and as a company. Given that our level of belief dictates the amount of potential that we can release, it increases the collective level of belief enabling the company to successfully attempt greater things with higher levels of belief and expectation. It’s not hard to accept that just one individual’s low level of belief and expectation can have a far-reaching negative impact on colleagues. So, its easy to see how an entire group benefiting from increased levels of belief and expectation can essentially move mountains metaphorically speaking.
- It also aides staff retention as its difficult to leave a company where you have bonded so deeply with your colleagues.
What else can a company expect from the experience?
We also incorporate many tools that create lasting change in individuals and companies alike at both a physical and psychological level. The entire event is constructed around a seminar which is both practical and motivational that provides everything a company needs to move onto the next level of success.
Some of the other exercises we incorporate into our events which are powerful metaphors for creating change include;
Arrow breaking, walking on glass and board breaking.
That’s really interesting Mark, it’s been a pleasure and a real eye opener to learn how we can access such high quality and life changes events right here in the Channel Islands. Thank you. How can individuals and companies contact you please?
One of the best ways to get hold of me is on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/markbakerspeaks
Mark Baker talking about his books: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtr-kkCRObw