Until 2019, Izaskun Bernal developed her professional career in the European Parliament, where she worked on social policy: human rights, development cooperation and women’s equality, among others. She then became interested in team management and interactive leadership tools, and trained to become a specialist in change management processes. After a burnout and the arrival of the pandemic, she came up with the question that would shape her project: “What happens to people in organisations?
The discovery of Emotional Engineering, which studies the impact that emotions have on everything we do and decide, would give her the answer. Bernal further trained to become an international consultant, Emotional Engineer and Executive Coach and brought all her knowledge together in “Meaningful Changes”, a consultancy that offers training, coaching and holistic services to improve and develop the potential and wellbeing of organisations.
“With the coronavirus, what was a luxury became a necessity,” the trainer explained in her interview with the Chamber. “The pandemic triggered the push to integrate human value into the business processes”.
Being an entrepreneur in Belgium has not been easy, but she has had the help of the JobYourself cooperative programme, and has focused on strengthening her soft skills or, as Bernal prefers to call them, smart skills. “Entrepreneurs go through many moments alone, of uncertainty and of rethinking their decisions. You have to work a lot on confidence, communication skills, fears and insecurities…”, she confessed.
Despite the obstacles, Bernal has come up with the ultimate formula: a unique multidisciplinary mix of a solid theoretical framework, participatory group dynamics and coaching tools. “Let’s say I have a toolbox and, in each case, I analyse and decide which ones are going to work best to solve the problems at their root“.
This year, she has delivered more than 20 workshops, trainings and coaching programmes. One of the most relevant was for the United Nations agency in Latin America, UNOPS, where she conducted a three-month training programme for 120 managers on ‘Hybrid team management and employee wellbeing’.
“Today, the better organisations understand human behaviour, the value of people and the importance of corporate wellbeing, the more productive and effective they will be,” concludes Bernal.