The Surprise Corporate Firewalk

by | Mar 17, 2018

I can hear you asking already! “What on earth is a Surprise Corporate Firewalk?” Well, to put it simply, a Surprise Corporate Firewalk is one that only a few people in the Team know about. For everyone else on the Team Building Day or Corporate Retreat, this is a HUGE surprise.

As you can imagine, for some, this is a great news. It might even be an opportunity for some bucket list ticking. For others, this could be as bad as being told their bedroom for the night is above the hotels nightclub and the disco will be on until 3am. Regardless, it’s still a surprise.

Trumpet Blowing!

I need to go off on a tangent for a moment.

Obviously, you don’t want your colleagues to feel all doom and gloom when they find out you organised a Surprise Firewalk. It can, and it does happen though.

The trick to handling this and making sure we keep your Team onboard is timing. You have kept it a surprise this far so let us announce the plan for the evening – the Firewalk!

In our experience, having new faces announce the Firewalk throws people off-kilter. That is enough to stop them thinking too much about what they might or might not be doing later. And because we get straight into the concept of Challenge by Choice and what that means, we can very easily settle any nerves in the room.

Prepare for the Trumpet!

We are very good at doing this.

Now, back to the Surprise Corporate Firewalk!

“Coming out of your comfort zone is tough in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and awesome in the end…because in the end, it shows you a whole new world.”
Manoj Arora

Why would a Firewalk be kept as a secret?

Good question!

In some companies, the annual Team Building Event or Conference is organised by one or two people, or a small committee. The planning for your Team Event is done by them and they often don’t announce what will be happening in advance. That’s just the way things are.

Of course, sometimes information can be “leaked”. Other times, this is top secret information and only the organisers know about it. Believe it or not, we have had Business Owners and CEOs turn up for Team Building Events and they were also surprised to learn that a Firewalk was taking place,

Other times, it is not so much a case of, “that’s how we do things”, but more a case of “I want this to be a surprise for everyone”.  That decision is usually made by someone senior in the company. They have decided that a Corporate Firewalk would be great for the Team (rightly so), and they want to purposefully keep it a surprise.

A Big Benefit to the Surprise Corporate Firewalk

The biggest single benefit of keeping your Corporate Firewalk a surprise is that it keeps anxiety at bay. It stops people worrying unnecessarily and that keeps them engaged in the rest of your Team Building Event or Conference.

Let’s examine this…

There are many reasons why someone might not want to take part in a Corporate Firewalk. They might be scared, or they might be risk averse. The thought of people seeing their feet might put them off (yes, that is more common than you might think). Or it could be that they have seen some negative press coverage about Firewalking (yes, that exists too). Honestly, I could write a big list of reasons we have heard but that is kind of irrelevant.

What you need to know is that it is highly likely, at least one person in your Team may not want to take part. By keeping the Firewalk a secret, you take away any anxiety this person might have in the run-up to your Team Building event. You take away any pressure to Firewalk that might build up in the conversations between colleagues on breaks. And of course, if people don’t know about it, their imaginations won’t run wild thinking about all the what ifs.

On the Flipside

Of course, there is a flipside to the surprise Corporate Firewalk.

In about 60% of the Corporate Firewalks we do, everyone in the Team know that Firewalking is on the agenda. We prime the organisers with quality information to share with and reassure their colleagues. This means that the Team knows this is more about camaraderie and team bonding than Firewalking. They know that the whole event is based on the principle of Challenge by Choice and they get to choose whether they walk on fire.

So, there you have it, some food for thought for when you are deciding whether you should keep your Corporate Firewalk under wraps or to let your colleagues know in advance. Either way, we will keep you right on how to pitch it in a way that keeps your Team onside.