Marina von Bergen, MA, ACC
As an American citizen who grew up in England, France, Germany and Switzerland, I was encouraged at a young age to explore the world and take a global view in life. My personal and professional experiences led me all around the world, learning how to interact and collaborate with individuals of all backgrounds, ethnicities and ages. Embracing such diversity from so early on has been beneficial to my career, enabling me to be comfortable in a wide array of organizational environments and with individuals from entry level all the way through the C-suite.
Anyone – regardless of qualifications – can claim themselves to be a coach, consultant or trainer, so taking the time to vet the person you entrust is worth the effort. Hiring a leadership development professional with relevant experience and credentials is important. That said, surveys have shown that the single largest factor determining the success of a coaching relationship is how well the coach and client get along. The better their chemistry and earned trust, the more effective the coaching process will be. Consulting and training relationships are less personal, yet the principle is the same: people do business with people they like.
Unless we have spent some time together, our mutual compatibility remains unknown. For now, I can share a few of my personality traits that would become quickly apparent in a professional relationship, so you can see if my style may be a good fit for yours:
- Confidentiality and trust are the pillars on which my business is founded, and I do not compromise on either.
- Like everyone else, my clients lead complex lives and are impacted by personal and work issues on an hourly basis. I collaborate with them accordingly, discussing all aspects of their lives as appropriate.
- Similarly, I bring my whole personality to my work engagements. I don’t put on a stiff professional face in the office that I take off when I take you to a client dinner where I can relax – you get the same “me” inside the office and out.
- I am deeply empathetic and compassionate, and I care genuinely about each of my clients. However, I am direct and tough when needed, understanding that it is my responsibility to help clients see and understand aspects of themselves that others are often afraid to.
- I am process and methodology-driven, but also creative and fluid in my approach as needed.
- I am not intimidated by anyone’s status, gender, ethnicity, size, wealth, or other characteristics. Regardless of who we are and how we got there, we are all just human beings muddling our way through this thing called life.
I am an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coach Federation (ICF). I am also an Advanced Certified Personal and Executive Coach through the highly recognized and respected College of Executive Coaching,
I am a certified Prosci Change Management professional. Prosci is the longest standing organization that has truly mastered and led the field of change management, and sets the gold standard for all other organizations wishing to make a mark in this area.
I am a certified executive coach through Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching, which is the world’s premier executive coaching company with the largest network of top coaches all certified in the same coaching process. Ranked as the World’s #1 Leadership Thinker by Harvard Business Review and Thinkers 50, Marshall Goldsmith’s coaching process has been used by more than 150 of the Fortune 500’s top leaders to take their performance to the next level.
I am certified to administer the highly credible and insightful EQ-i 2.0 and EQ360 assessments with my clients and their teams. These assessments are widely regarded as the most effective in their field, and my personal experience with them confirms that.
I began my career in the world of management consulting, working for global firms such as Deloitte as well as smaller boutique consulting firms. I then entered the field of corporate event planning, where I was responsible for leading the many teams that organized events for thousands of people.
As my career progressed, I rose quickly in the organizations I worked for, often being promoted faster than most, enjoying increasing responsibilities leading global teams and large initiatives. I learned early on that people at all levels of the organization, from entry-level analysts to C-suite leaders, shared the same fundamental needs as members of their organizations. That lesson, along with my global worldview that focuses on commonalities instead of differences, enabled me to create a natural and effective rapport with leaders at the highest levels.
Just prior to establishing vonbergengroup, I worked as a human capital consultant for a global management consulting firm, and also led a variety of enterprise-wide projects and global teams for an international company.
Growing up in England and then mostly Switzerland, I had the privilege of receiving excellent education in both countries. In Switzerland, I attended the Swiss public schools through high school – it was there that I became the precise, punctual and process-oriented person that I am today!
I hold a Masters in Management in Global Workforce Collaboration from Saybrook University. The coursework was perfectly designed for senior-level professionals working in an international environment, and the learning experience was enhanced by real-life application of the tools and methodologies we were studying. Coursework included:
– Sustainable 21st Century Organizational Systems, Behavior and Cultures
– Global Economies, Markets and Supply Chains
– Managing Distributed Organizations
– Dispersed Workforce Characteristics, Environments and Issues
– Designing and Managing Collaborative Workplace Systems and Virtual Teams
– Systems Thinking, Analytics and Ethical Decision Making
– Managing and Engaging HR-Domestic and International Principles, Practices and Issues
– Managing Across Cultures
– The Network Organization: Evolving Communication Systems and Strategic Partnerships
– Strategic Information Systems, Knowledge Economies, and Technology
– Social Network Analysis, Partnership Facilitation, and Conflict Resolution
I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Purdue University, with a minor in psychology.
A Bit More Info…
On a Personal Note
A balanced life is just as much about leisure as it is about work. Work hard, play hard. When I am not busy engaging with clients, I tend to be busy involved in any number of personal pursuits. My hobbies include portrait photography, volunteering at the Houston SPCA (animal shelter), reading lots of non-fiction, running (I am currently training for a half marathon), and of course, spending lots of time with my cats and friends. I am also on the Board of Directors of my local ICF Houston chapter, and am an active member of other organizations that support my personal and professional aspirations.
Working in a global environment requires resilience, an open mind, patience, and a sense of adventure. Those who are most successful at navigating the global corporate landscape are those who have done so for many years. I have lived and worked extensively throughout Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and North America, and I speak Spanish and French. With a little practice, I would even be comfortable in German again. When choosing an individual to work with your international teams, be selective and picky – hand-pick an individual like myself who can not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk when it comes to excelling in a fast-paced and demanding global environment.