About Me

Michelle Bernard

Inspiring Others to Hope

As the flowers begin to bloom, there's rain showers regularly on the forecast instead of snow, and buds are forming on the trees, I'm renewed with hope. Growing up and currently living in Minnesota brings a deep appreciation of spring and it's statement "we made it through winter." The promise of spring calls forth hope through the winter.

Besides the cold winters and beautiful summers, Minnesota is rich and unique in diverse cultures. In the Twin Cities alone we have over 1 million immigrants from about 100 different nations/people groups. Since I was a young girl I've always had a curiosity and appreciation for other cultures.


I went on my first international trip abroad to Nepal which was like nothing I had experienced before and I discovered my love for other cultures and people. Since that time I have traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, France, Spain, Germany, and Hungary for humanitarian projects, teaching English, an academic semester abroad, culture study, coming alongside of refugees, and to experience other cultures.

I lived in Cambodia and completed an academic internship while learning the local language, finishing an ethnographic research project, and simply living in a new country and culture. I had experienced culture shock and transition before on my prior trips but this was more intense and longer as this wasn't just a quick trip...I was living in a new country. I found myself comforted and intrigued while learning about cross-cultural transition, shock, and stress. It is one of my deep joys to help others process and transition well while experiencing a cross-cultural transition.

What brought me to coaching?

Transition, moving, starting new jobs, and trying to thrive while staying true to my core character combined together and led me to coaching. When my plans for the present and future continually changed for over a year, I felt drained making decisions and with no specific direction to follow I struggled to look at the future through the lens of hope.

During this time I found myself wishing that I had a "guidance counselor for life" or at least something close to it. I was looking for someone to help guide my own decision-making and not someone telling me what to do with my life. I wanted to process and dig deeper to the reasons why I felt so stuck, confused, and paralyzed to make decisions- all of these things quite contrary to my personality when I'm in a healthy state. My desire was to have someone walk with me, help uncover and clear the fog of the direction and opportunities to pursue, while understanding my values in choosing them. I stumbled upon coaching and found it be the match that I was searching for.

I want to provide that same service to others going through transition and my sweet spot is those also experiencing cross-cultural interactions and or transitions.

After a long road of pursuing different options to become a certified professional coach, I came across Co-Active Training Institute (CTI). I completed the training in Washington DC and have been officially coaching ever since.

When I'm not coaching you'll probably find me outdoors. Anything on the lake you can count me in and especially when water skiing is involved. My family, friends, and community shape me and I wouldn't be who I am without them. I love the classic African proverb: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

Qualifications

Coaching

  • CPCC, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach

  • ACC-ICF, Associate Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation

  • I have completed 200+ hours of professional training as a coach through CTI (Co-Active Training Institute), one of the world's leading companies in training coaches

Cross-Cultural

  • I have personally experienced different countries and cultures abroad and in America

  • For years I have mentored small groups preparing to study/move abroad

  • I have studied culture for 10+ years

  • Growing up in Minneapolis brought a diverse mindset and curiosity for other nations/cultures

  • Graduated college with a Bachelor's Degree in Global Studies

Training & Speaking

  • I have given 150+ speeches including formal education, motivational events, sharing of my experiences, and a variety of other topics

  • Audiences ranging from small groups to 500+

  • I have had the privilege to speak in America as well as internationally

  • Training and Facilitating small groups and audiences:

    • preparing to move and/or study abroad​

    • leadership training at university and high school levels

    • cross-culture preparation and knowledge

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Contact

Let's connect!

Olive Branch Coaching and Consulting is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

michelle@olivebranchcandc.com

Our clients are all around the world and connect through video calls or in person based out of Minneapolis with the agreement of coach and client.

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Interested in coaching but want to know more? 

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