The world of business is a cut-throat one.

Throughout the country bosses demand this month’s quarterly report is on their desk by midday, while passive-aggressive notes cover the fridges of office kitchens. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and often a toxic environment where colleagues value their lunch break more than they value their co-workers.

The solution to this? Llamas.

That’s according to the new The Llama Experience at the Spittal of Glenshee. Professing to teach patience, persuasion, persistence and collaboration, the team-building event in Perthshire takes a small group of colleagues up close and personal with the fluffy giants of the Andes.

So, one grim November morning, I accepted the challenge. I swapped the office block for the great outdoors, Microsoft Word for muddy wellies, and my line manager for an 7ft llama called Atticus.

Upon arrival at the picturesque Ecocamp Glenshee, nestled just below the Cairngorms, I must admit I was a bit nervous. The only fact I knew about llamas was that they spit. However I was quickly assured by one of the owners, Fiona Calvin.

“In the eight years we’ve had these llamas they’ve never spat at us once,” she says.

“A lot of time, violent Llamas have had a troubled upbringing where their mother has died while they were young and so they’ve been brought up by a human. They then treat all humans like they would a fellow llama.”

Somewhat more at ease, we headed down to the enclosure to meet the three llamas which would be accompanying us - Atticus, Bradley and Jet. As we approached the shelter where they often sleep, I noticed the size of them - they towered above all three of us, staring at we stumbled down the path towards them.

I don’t like big animals. The last time I was near an animal this big, I was being chased across a field by an angry horse just outside Birmingham. I only hoped that the llama’s reputation for violence was as much of a myth as the owners said.

Simon, Fiona’s husband and business partner, pointed them out.

“Jet the alpha-male he’s a year older than the rest –he’s 12 now, the other two are 11,” he says. “We occasionally take them to a Highland Games and he’ll just walk through the crowd as if he does it every day - it’s easier than taking a dog.

“Brad is the big guy - he’s getting up to about 8ft. We got him the year Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France.

“He’s got a very Bradley Wiggins attitude to life which is, ‘I’ll do it my way', so we named him Brad.”

Lastly they led me over to Atticus, my companion for the day.

“Atticus is the bottom of the food chain” says Simon.

“He eats very quickly because he knows if he doesn’t the others will steal his food. He’s affectionate, very happy to be cuddled.”

As the junior reporter in the office, I thought it seemed like a good fit.

Once we got a hold of the leashes and led the llamas up the hill, it became apparent that Atticus was leading me rather than the other way around. He knew exactly where he was going.

“They’re very smart,” Fiona tells me, “They don’t look clever but llamas are very intelligent.

“We had one man who came on the trek who had autism. He was very animated and would often quickly turn and put his face right up against Jet, our lead llama.

“Normally a llama would pull away because they don’t like that, but Jet just stood there and looked at. It was almost like that the llamas understood that this guy behaved differently for a reason.”

The already surreal day then took another surreal turn. In front of us was a full assault course. It seemed ridiculous and the question I had to ask was: “Why on earth do you do this?”

Simon laughs. “Well, as well as a fun challenge, it’s quite a good way of developing one or two skills, and if you can use those skills in the workplace then this is something we can do with businesses,” he says.

“We’re about bringing a small group of staff and they get to spend a couple of hours with their colleagues in a different setting. That’s why things like the Christmas night out is a good thing because you’re not in the office, you’re in a neutral space and can be a bit different.

“It’s about bringing your staff away, having a bit of fun in the great outdoors, possibly out of your comfort zone and maybe seeing people in a different light.

“You have people who are quite nervous of the animals - we’ve seen this where the macho guy in the office is a bit intimidated by them, whereas the quiet person takes to them very well and as a result the llama then bonds with that person.

“If then the macho man self-evaluates and thinks ‘they have a skill set I haven’t got’, they might learn something.” So I give it a go. Running along an assault course, over jumps, through a weave and around a maze is perhaps the most odd experience of my life. Like Crufts but with the world’s biggest and weird-looking dog.

Coming out the other end, panting, Simon came over to me with a horse treat in hand.

“Put that between your lips,” Simon says, “and get Atticus to come and take it from your mouth. He’ll give you a little kiss but don’t worry, it’s completely safe.” So I put the small biscuit between my lips. Atticus turned and looked me dead in the eyes.

Despite all this talk of how friendly these llamas were, I had my doubts. What if he was having a bad day and didn’t like the look of me? Or worse, that he liked the look of me a bit too much.

Then, quick as a flash, he snatched the treat and crunched it down. I gave him a sheepish look. He gave me a llama-ish look back.

As we walked back to the car, I was struck at how relaxing the whole day was. Despite being a good foot taller than me, the llamas were very gentle. Not once did they kick off or get angry, and the whole experience was incredibly calming.

Fiona agreed. “There’s something about being near an animal, especially a big animal or a powerful animal, who will do what you tell them and work with you that is very therapeutic,” she says.

“We have a lot people who come who work in the NHS and mental health and they all say: ‘it would be great if we had the money to bring our customers or patients here.’

“But there’s no money anymore. If we were doing this 30 years ago, we would have a school every Wednesday, the local NHS every Tuesday, we’d have people paying to take our llamas to the hospital.”

So what did I learn? Did I learn the key skills that will win businessman of the year award? and wow my colleagues at the next AGM?

No, but I did learn that llamas are great, and anything that can encourage colleagues to be as patient and relaxed as they are with a llama is a good idea. As for my kiss with Atticus, I was a bit hurt. He doesn’t write, he doesn’t call, he doesn’t even text. Typical.