Susan Bernstein, MBA, PhD
Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant
I support existing & emerging leaders to harness all of their strengths — including their emotions — so they can access their authentic leadership, elevate their careers, and make a greater impact in their organizations.
I strive to bring out each person’s greatest potential.
Early on in my career, I often wished for a mentor to take me under their wing. I would have appreciated having someone there to support my personal growth and to help me remove the barriers that I felt stood in my way of success.
In both my personal and professional life, I often heard, “Stop being so emotional!”
But I didn’t know how to do that. I had no idea that I didn’t have to be at the mercy of my emotions. And especially when I worked in management consulting, serving clients, I didn’t know how to respond when people around me displayed strong emotions — especially anger, sadness, and fear.
I focused a lot of time and attention on my own personal development, and went on to earn my MBA at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and both an MA and a PhD in Mind-Body (Somatic) Psychology at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute (which later became a division of the Chicago School for Professional Psychology).
When I started studying mind-body psychology, I had a physical “aha!” in my body. I realized that when I would breathe differently, or change where I placed my eye gaze, or moved in certain ways, I felt calmer and more confident.
I discovered that making small shifts in your body can create big changes in your mental outlook.
By realizing the powerful potential of these micro-movements, I began to share my discoveries with others. I explored how to apply this embodied awareness to practical workplace issues, like navigating conflicts, enhancing interpersonal communication, and stepping into leadership.
My ability to support professionals to become more confident, collaborative, and creative leaders comes from a unique combination of strategy and somatic science.
I honed my pragmatic and strategic skills in demanding executive development and management consulting roles at companies including Franklin-Covey, Intel, and Accenture, where I supported clients in volatile markets and transitions.
Meanwhile, my deep psychological insights into the nature of personal and professional transformation have been gleaned from my PhD level training in the cutting-edge perspectives of Somatic Psychology. This relatively young branch of psychology draws from neuroscience, neurobiology, and mindfulness practices.
Blending these skills I help my clients move past the internal and external roadblocks that hold them back, to create the momentum they seek for making positive change.
My clients include individuals and groups at:
Boston Consulting Group
Levi Strauss & Co.
Procter & Gamble
It was a very, very good retreat for me. was an amazing experience. I gained a lot more tools than I ever expected. This is one of the best professional development experiences I've ever had. Susan was so thoughtful in her responses to everyone. I learned a lot. The pace of the weekend worked well for me. I felt pushed, but not too hard. Just right to make the changes I've been seeking. I'm so excited about reinventing my work the way I've always wanted to do it.