Bring positive change to your team (Interview)



As a manager of a team of employees, how do you address widespread issues of low morale, sub-par productivity or simply lack of communication? These symptoms are often the trigger for strategic conversations that result in the announcing of a Company Team-Building Event. However, many times these events only provide a temporary distraction and then the same symptoms return.


Instead of emphasising an event, why not focus on a strategy that directly addresses the core issues? This month I spoke with Patricia Eslava Vessey, PCC, CHT, ICF credentialed Life & Executive Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner, Trainer, Speaker, Author & Fitness Trainer from Integrity Coaching & Training Systems. Patricia’s proven work demonstrates that personal and team development stems from gaining different perspectives and developing self-management skills.


Renatta Emerson: Tell us what you do at Integrity Coaching & Training Systems does?


Patricia Eslava Vessey:I help individuals and groups achieve their goals, whatever they may be.  Integrity Coaching and Training Systems is a personal development company dedicated to empowering people to succeed in their personal and professional lives.


With expertise in coaching, hypnosis, NLP, personal development, group facilitation and wellness, I specialize in designing and delivering powerful and effective learning opportunities for groups and individuals. This allows them to transform limiting, negative and destructive beliefs and behaviors into the energized, empowered and successful lives they desire.


RE: Tell me a little bit about why a corporate group would want to participate in a group session with you. (Or perhaps the question is: why should they?)


PEV: Teams enjoy working with me because I have been educating, inspiring and motivating people to achieve their goals for over 33 years. I use a variety of powerful and effective transformational tools and techniques from coaching, hypnosis, NLP, energy psychology and others in the many trainings I offer. Whether teaching a fitness class of 15 or a  seminar of 100 people, participants leave feeling “empowered, confident, excited, motivated, refreshed, energized and full of hope” about their future.  The passion, enthusiasm, creativity and commitment I bring to my work as well as a lifetime of expertise in helping people make meaningful life changes enables participants to easily, effortlessly and enjoyably transform their lives.


As a former social worker and manager for over 30 years I bring a wealth of experience, insight and expertise to my work with businesses/corporate groups.  As a leader who created high functioning, cohesive and award-winning teams, I work collaboratively with groups to design an experience that exceeds their expectations.


RE: I imaginethat many people hold on to misconceptions or concerns related to hypnosis. How do you address that with groups?


PEV: Unfortunately over the years the media has popularized several negative myths about hypnosis.  Sometimes people express concern about being made to do things against their will or they fear being out of control during hypnosis. It’s important to me that people feel comfortable with the techniques I use.  To that end I explain how hypnosis works, dispel all myths and answer questions as well as give a brief demonstration so people feel comfortable and know what to expect.


RE: Speaking of what to expect, what can groups expect in a session with Integrity Coaching?


PEV: Unless the group is attending one of my current workshops, which are typically several hours in length, I work with the group prior to the session to establish goals and outcomes including timeframe for the activity.  Depending on the purpose of the session, participants can expect to become enlightened, energized and empowered to make meaningful personal and professional changes and achieve their goals while learning new skills, increasing confidence and having fun. Group sessions are typically experiential and may include individual, small group and large group activities such as team building, skill building training in communication, stress management, strategic planning, goal setting, customer service, time management, leadership skills, wellness/fitness, etc.


RE: So then, after a session with you, what should a team expect? What will they gain?


PEV: I am known for designing effective, engaging and fun group training sessions.  Previous groups who have benefited from my workshops include group sessions on confidence, goal setting, performance, public speaking, stress management, communication skills, team building, weight loss, smoking cessation, time management, fitness/wellness and more. My techniques and experience allow me to customize powerful and effective workshops for any group.


RE: Who would you say are the best types of groups to  benefit from Integrity Coaching & Training Systems?


PEV: Groups whose goal is improved performance and relationships will learn to become more self aware, and how their behavior affects the group.  Those wanting to improve their relationships into cohesive, high performing teams will learn new tools and ways to interact.


RE: Wow. Many thanks to you Patricia for explaining how you help groups reach their goals.


For more information and consultation, please contact Patricia Eslava Vessey by phone or email at or (206) 459-2898


Putting the “build” in Team-building (Interview)

Many companies like the idea of hosting a team building retreat or event for their staff, but often struggle to determine what that event should entail. How do you find something that is creative but not awkward, effective but not cliche, and at the same time will appropriately represent the company’s culture and values?

Enter Team Habitat.

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of meeting Tracey Sorenson, Development Manager for the Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity. They offer a unique and powerful team building opportunity that, quite frankly, not enough businesses know about. Here is our conversation:

Renatta Emerson: Can you briefly explain what Team Habitat is?

Tracey Sorenson: Team Habitat is a program for groups who would like to come out for a day of building together on a Habitat for Humanity house.

RE: Why would a group want to participate in Team Habitat?

TS: According to Fresh Tracks, a UK-based people development company, getting people away from their typical environment and together in new, fun, or unusual settings can have immensely powerful consequences. Colleagues who work together in an unfamiliar environment develop a unique bond of shared experience and trust that carries over to the workplace. Team Habitat has the additional benefit of providing not only this, but also the good feeling that comes from helping others.

RE: That all sounds nice, but when I think of building a house it just seems like a lot of work. Is it actually fun?!

TS: I like to tell people that no one has ever NOT had fun coming out to build with Habitat. I think it’s because house building is such a foreign experience to most people, they think it’s something they can’t do. So when they see all they’ve accomplished after a day of building, it’s tremendously gratifying.

RE: What can groups expect in a day with the Team Habitat experience?

TS: We ask groups to arrive at 8:45 am for a safety briefing and assignment of the day’s tasks, then they work until 3:00 or 3:30 pm. With Team Habitat, a host is on site to take pictures, answer questions, and feed them snacks and lunch – so they get a more personalized experience than our individual volunteers.

RE: Is there any kind of prior experience or training needed?

TS: No experience at all is required! Less than 5% of the people who come out to volunteer with us have any prior construction experience. Our construction managers are used to working with brand-new volunteers and are very patient in teaching them everything they need to know.

RE: What kind of groups would you say is the Team Habitat experience for?

TS: Team Habitat is great for any group who is looking to connect with one another in a fun way while giving back to the community.

RE: That sounds like just about anyone then. 

I’m sure people are curious what kind of effect their efforts create. What would you say is the impact that volunteer groups have on Habitat for Humanity’s projects?

TS: Team Habitat is quantifiable in the sense that groups are donating both their time and making a tax-deductible financial contribution. In Tacoma, the cost to build a Habitat home (not including site development and infrastructure costs) is over $70,000. When a Team Habitat group participates, they are doubling the impact they make by not only volunteering their time, but by helping cover the construction costs on the house on which they work.

RE: So, double the impact, team bonding, plus the feel-goods? That’s pretty hard to beat! How can groups get more information and who should they contact?

TS: More information about Team Habitat and testimonials from past participants can be found on our local Team Habitat website. They can also call our office at 253-627-5626 and ask to speak to someone about our Team Habitat program. (It will probably be me!)

RE: That’s fantastic, is there anything you would like to add?

TS: Thanks for the opportunity to talk about Team Habitat, Renatta. Having been on site with more than a dozen groups, I can say without a doubt that they find this to be a worthwhile team-building opportunity. With corporate social responsibility becoming an industry standard, we are increasingly approached by groups looking to make a difference in their community. However, a lot of people still don’t know about this. We appreciate forward-thinking businesses like yours who are helping us get the word out.

RE: Thank you, Tracey for taking the time to share about Team Habitat!

Contact the Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity and find out how your company can participate in Team Habitat. Tell them Renatta Emerson Events sent you!

Team Habitat Website 
Facebook Page
Phone: 253.627.5626