I was a scientist. Now I am a professional coach, business owner and mother.

Coaching tools and techniques have helped me find my way to a truly satisfying life.

Now I use these to transform the lives of my clients. Here are some of their stories.

Client success stories


He was struggling to talk to his wife about their plans for the future, and it was causing a lot of tension. We worked on new communication techniques he could use, and as a result the couple found a way to create a shared vision. This success gave him confidence to communicate more assertively in his work relationships. As a result of our sessions together he found a new way of connecting with others. This helped him build stronger, more authentic relationships with his family and his clients.


dreamstime_m_42509150She came to me feeling like she was not right for her job as a manager. We explored her values and she understood how her work environment was not sitting well with things that were important to her. This understanding helped her see how she could make change, and she uncovered the fears that were holding her back. With this new perspective she realised her strengths and found her confidence. As a result of coaching she acted on her vision and started a process that will improve her team and her organisation.

Job Satisfaction

dreamstime_m_22676212She had been frustrated in her job for years and she was ready for a career change. As we explored her values and career options she realised she was trying to escape from herself, not her job. Understanding this gave her a new perspective on her current situation, and increased her confidence. Through coaching she discovered a new degree of satisfaction and happiness that removed her desire to leave.

Work-Life Balance

dreamstime_m_28288571He had left the corporate world to work as a consultant, but now stress was getting him down. As we worked together he better understood his needs and motivations, and was able to let go of patterns of thinking suited to his previous work style. As his expectations started to line up with his reality and motivations, he found he could relax more. As a result of our sessions he found a way to structure his days that gave him the work/life balance he had been seeking. His stress reduced and he, and his family, were much happier.

My Own Story

2015-07-19 11.02.18I had left my career as a scientist behind to work as a manager when stress started to take its toll. Poor sleep, fatigue, digestive problems and anxiety sapped my confidence. My motivation for my work faded. I worked hard to understand the issues and sought support to make some needed lifestyle changes. As I unpacked the attitudes, beliefs and fears that were holding me in a stressed state, I discovered a new belief in myself. As a result I found my sense of purpose and decided to change careers and start  my own business. Read more of my story…



I am a certified Professional and Personal Coach, having completed three courses and 200 hours of coach-specific training. In 2015 I did both the Foundation and Advanced Coaching courses at Momentum Life Coaching and Training, in Tauranga, New Zealand. In 2016 I completed a Professional Course in Transformative Coaching with Coach Masters Academy, Singapore. This course was delivered in New Zealand by company founder Ben Koh MCC, with the support of Coach Masters Academy NZ Director of Training Sarah Devereaux PCC.  I am also a member of the International Coach Federation, and as such am bound by their Code of Ethics in my practice and am trained in their core competencies. ICF-logo

Having worked and managed in a science organisation in my previous career, I am well trained in the concepts and practices of leadership in a complex environment. Initially through an 18 month Leadership Excellence Programme delivered by the New Zealand Leadership Institute, and then ongoing training (again with the NZ Leadership Institute) and experience as part of Scion’s Leadership Team.

I have also completed training in Crucial Conversations, Radical Collaboration, project management, and have a Certificate in Te Ara Reo Māori.

My scientific training started at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, with a Bachelor of Science (Zoology), and a Master of Science (with First Class Honours in Zoology). I earned my PhD in Ecology at Lincoln University, New Zealand. Although my training included conservation, evolution, anatomy, physiology, psychology and behaviour, I specialised in insect ecology and behaviour, researching biological control of insect pests for my doctoral thesis and in my research career.



“I came to see Lisa after a recommendation from someone with a hope that she can coach me on my career. Lisa has exceedingly passed my expectation. She did not just help me to understand or see from different perspective, but she also challenged me to understand myself better, what is important for me, and how to face the challenges I faced. The important lesson for me is – We should never run away from our problem, you may face the same situation in the future. Spend enough time to understand the core issue of the problem for you and once you understand this, you have the tools/ability to try to make a difference both in your current situation and in the future. If you have tried counselling and feel that it does not work for you and you need someone to provide more guidance and coaching, I would definitely recommend Lisa.” – Niken, Scientist, Rotorua, January 2018

“Lisa has been truly a fantastic help to me to navigate a challenging time in my life. Together we were able to identify the factors that were holding me back after a particularly difficult event. By the end of the coaching I was able to clearly see my own life narrative, have closure and have a restored sense of well-being. What I really appreciated is Lisa’s open, non-judgmental style. She is easy to talk with and she really sought to understand my situation and struggles. I would absolutely recommend Lisa for life coaching without hesitation.” – Doctor, Bay of Plenty, November 2017

“From our first meeting, I knew I had found the right person in Lisa. I came to life coaching in a somewhat confused state, aware of many issues that were affecting me and seeking the means to deal with them.  In our six sessions together, Lisa expertly supported me to draw out and enhance the perspectives and strategies that I needed. Most impressive was her ability to relate to my particular circumstances and help me build a strong relationship to self from which good decisions continue to flow.  I now think of Lisa as a friend and life coach partner who I can always turn to for advice at any time in the future.” – Brian, Rotorua, July 2017

“Before I started coaching with Lisa l was frustrated and just so stuck. Lisa got me to look at my life holistically and really made me think about what it was I wanted, in a way that I’d never thought of before. I gained clarity on what things actually mattered to my true self and she has given me tools in order to work toward them, especially with my science career. I truly encourage others who are struggling to get Lisa’s help right now and start living a more fulfilled life!” Laura, Scientist, Rotorua, May 2017

“Lisa provided very valuable coaching to me when I needed to make a critical decision in my career. Lisa’s background in science, as well as her own life journey and understanding of the challenges of a science career, meant that her advice and insights were perfect for me! The coaching was intense, well-structured and holistic. Through Lisa’s coaching I gained the tools and insights I needed to make the right career choice. I’d definitely take the opportunity to use Lisa as a life coach if you are looking to make some critical decisions about your future.” Scientist, Rotorua, August 2016

“I was fortunate to have three coaching sessions with Lisa at Lifelab recently. Lisa has an encouraging and engaging style and expertly guided the conversation to quickly focus on the heart of the matter. She intuitively knew just the right tips and tools to recommend as we went and how to apply them in a practical sense. The experience was a real confidence boost and I came away feeling empowered to be a stronger leader. I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and can highly recommend Lifelab coaching.  Thanks Lisa!” Team Leader, August 2016

“My sessions with Lisa lead to life changing behaviour. In five weeks I went from frustrated and angry to calm and contented, and enjoying my job more fully than I have done for many years. Being happy at work takes far less energy than constantly railing against real or imagined ills. I recommend to others who are struggling, to take the time to work with Lisa. You won’t regret it.” Marie, Scientist, Rotorua, June 2016

“Lisa is a skilled coach who continually demonstrates her ability to help her clients move forward with confidence and purpose. Lisa’s style of coaching reflects her background in science and her intuitive nature, assisting her clients to gain deep insights and ongoing momentum through focused forward action. I would highly recommend Lisa as a personal and professional coach.”
Sarah Devereaux, New Zealand Director of Training/Transformational Coach, Coach Masters Academy NZ (previously at Momentum Life Coaching and Training), Tauranga, New Zealand, December 2015

“I have been one of Lisa’s coach trainers for both her Foundation and Advanced life coach training courses.  Lisa’s background in research and science, as well as her innate ability for strong empathetic listening and her deep sense of intuition, makes for a winning combination as a coach.   I have the highest regard for Lisa and would recommend her as a highly skilled professional coach to anyone who is looking to move forward in their lives.”
Jo Lanigan, Business Relations Manager/ICF Coach Trainer, Coach Masters Academy NZ (previously at Momentum Life Coaching and Training), Tauranga, New Zealand
December 2015

“Coaching with Lisa from the LifeLab is like re-calibrating the direction of your inner compass. I have gained clarity around setting goals and have established new work-life habits to support achieving what I want out of life. Lisa leads you by the hand to your own personal doorway of your future possible life. If you’re brave enough to turn the handle – the discoveries have been delightful, surprising and  enlivening.”
Dr Julia Charity, Founder, Look After Me Accommodation Network, November 2015

“I attended eight Life Coaching sessions with Lisa Berndt over two months in mid-2015 and found them both illuminating and valuable. Lisa didn’t tell me where I should be heading in my life, that was up to me; but she provided useful tools and insights to help me recognise what things are important to me, why I behave the way I do and why other people behave the way they do. Her insightful questioning and collection of strategic and tactical tools helped me crystallise my goals and gave me techniques for working towards those goals, effectively, efficiently, and through recognition and planning, hopefully avoiding the pitfalls I have experienced in the past.
I found Lisa friendly and encouraging but able to incisively cut through the noise to arrive at the pith of an issue. The exercises and tools she introduced during the coaching sessions were helpful and her collection of take-home materials very useful for recapping and absorbing the knowledge and helping them become tools to enhance my life.
I enthusiastically recommend Lisa Berndt’s Life Coaching services for helping you quickly recognise and get to where you want to be.
Thanks Lisa.”
Peter Professional Engineer, Rotorua, August 2015

“I had eight sessions with Lisa Berndt. Over that time we covered a wide range of topics that helped me to explore my values and understand my personality which in turn allowed me to understand how and why I react in different situations, such as job interviews.
Lisa used a variety of tools that aided learning, and she was able to draw on a rich personal background in order to help explain concepts. Overall, she was very good at helping me to unravel my problems, by helping me to gain clarity and understanding. I have no hesitation in recommending Lisa to anyone looking for life coaching.
Thanks Lisa!”
Sarah, Rotorua, August 2015

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