How can taking people out of their comfort zone facilitate bonding?

Adam Lichtenstein is regional manager at AJ Hackett International and general manager at AJ Hackett Macau Tower. Founded in New Zealand in the late ‘80s, AJ Hackett offers high-altitude activities, including bungy jumping and the popular Skywalk X that involves a hair-raising stroll around the outside perimeter of Macau Tower-which stands at 233 metres. 

We try to create an environment where our clients are able to overcome their fears and achieve something they had previously only dreamed of doing. Participating in one of our high-altitude activities is a form of initiation. People leave with a great sense of accomplishment. This boosts the confidence of a group, which can be powerful. It helps those involved to form a closer bond. 

Both small and large-scale groups also have an added benefit of being able to enjoy often once-in-a-lifetime experiences together. The positive energy that is generated within the group through challenges that bond them are also further enhanced by the release of endorphins during, and directly after, the event. More than often clients relive their experience in discussion at any available opportunity for some time into the future. 

As there has been a growing demand for team building activities in Macau we have developed two new products: “Skydrumming” and “Team Challenges”. The former involves teams taking part in an ancient drumming ritual 233 metres above the ground, while the latter sees delegates learning combat tactics and self-defense moves on the outer rim of the tower and the Outdoor Observatory on the 61st floor. These new programmes provide the perfect platform for companies to provide their staff with a unique opportunity to challenge one another, and to have fun outdoors. 

Over the years we have had several companies and large groups enjoy our products here in Macau and at our other sites around the globe. One that comes to mind is The Lions Group. There were a total of 500, of whom half did activities with us over a two-day period. Others include Turbojet from Hong Kong who had groups of 60 visit once a week for four weeks running. 


Faizal Ariff Abdullah is programme coordinator at Original Bootcamp. With operations in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia, Original Bootcamp offers corporate groups military-style fitness training. 


We offer team-building experiences for corporate groups, deriving ideas and experiences not just from the military, but also from years of coaching. A person’s true character can be uncovered when they are put in undue duress, and this is what we can achieve with our programmes. 

From top-level management to lowly interns, all are put through intense physical and mental workouts. In our experience, these activities have proven time and time again to bring out the best in people. And to remind them that patience, leadership and teamwork are essential tools to achieve success in the corporate world and beyond.

No matter the size of the group, all will be challenged. Smaller groups have the opportunity to form tight bonds and to learn more about one another other, while larger teams have the opportunity to experience distinctive group dynamics as smaller subsets splinter off to work more efficiently for the greater good of the team.  

Our outdoor group training sessions, which run rain, hail or shine, incorporate elements of high intensity interval training, teamwork and circuit training. We use equipment such as sandbags, tyres and ropes as well as bodyweight progressions. Using these methods we create a balanced workout that is more functional because it involves moving from one activity to the next with varying amounts of rest, depending on your goals and level of conditioning. The use of different equipment, movements, intensities and exercises, means your body is constantly challenged helping to prevent overuse injuries and avoid mental burnout.


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