If you’re in management, here’s something you might not know: those “team building exercises” you hold on a semi-regular basis, the ones where attendance is mandatory – well, not everyone likes those. In fact, very few people like them. They’re often boring, frustratingly juvenile and the tone of them always seems to be too – how does one put it – kindergarten-y. The only thing that those icebreaker games are good for is to complain about later.
So, what would be a good team building exercise? Well, it would have to be an activity that’s exciting, engaging, and encourages both teamwork and competition. Whew, that’s a tall order, but luckily there is an activity that fits the bill – axe throwing. You heard right, this relatively new sport, which started as more of a counter-culture than anything, just so happens to be the perfect team building exercise.
What Is Axe Throwing?
While the modern practice of axe throwing (or at least its popularity) may be recent, the principle behind it is as old as the axe itself. Since prehistoric times, humans have been crafting axes for throwing, but were developed into a close approximation of their modern form somewhere around the 3rd Century by the Franks. People in those times would practice axe throwing to prepare for battle or simply as a leisurely form of competition. In other words, humans have been doing this for quite some time, for reasons not all that dissimilar to team building!
What Can You And Your Employees Expect?
Whether you book an axe throwing party or join an axe throwing league you always start with training. An experienced, master axe thrower will give you some lessons, offering pointers on how to get power and accuracy in your throw. Make no mistake, axe throwing isn’t just for the burly lumberjack dudes; people of all types can be – and have been – amazing at axe throwing. The lessons are then followed by target practice, and finally a round robin tournament. Those are the three general steps of an axe throwing party.
What Makes It Such A Great Team Building Exercise?
Those three steps each contain something necessary to a successful team building exercise. During the lesson period, everyone learns a skill together, which reinforces the idea of communal learning and working together. The second step, the target practice, is more focused on individual triumph, whether each employee can work hard to do her or his best. Finally, the tournament portion introduces some friendly competition into the exercise, which is a key facet of many businesses. Together, those three steps make for a very well-rounded – and not to mention incredibly exciting – team building activity.
Next time you have a choice between doing yet another trust fall exercise or going axe throwing, choose the team building activity that your employees will actually enjoy. These things shouldn’t feel like work. They should be fun and engaging, a way for employees to bond and compete simultaneously in a non-work environment – they should be axe throwing.