Navigating success in the world we live in today is tricky and it can be difficult to know how to stay on track. How do we continue to grow and stay resilient in the pursuit of success? Cambiana, a company focused on training leaders and team members, says that we should look to our Emotional Intelligence as the key to success. I speak to Cambiana’s CEO Gaëlle Piernikarch, about coaching, why it is important to upgrade our emotional intelligence, and how we can train our resilience.

1.           Gaëlle, as an introduction, can you tell us a bit about the background of Cambiana GmbH?

The world is growing so fast that it is increasingly important to understand, embrace and convey internally and externally our own purpose and the purpose of our organizations: Why we are here, what skills and talents we have that meet what the world needs, how we can make a positive contribution to our communities and our environment. More than ever, engagement, empathy and soft skills are essential. At Cambiana, we believe that diversity, appreciation, awareness, and a people-oriented approach of technology are key to reshape our ways of working and learning, and to develop team spirit and creativity.

The name “Cambiana” is inspired by the Spanish word “cambio”, meaning “change”. Since 2011, we have been accompanying clients through cultural transformations, supporting them with the upskilling and development needs of their teams and leaders. Through our digital and human-centered approach, we offer innovative programs for leadership, resilience, change, and communication. As it is essential to feel personally understood in your own situation to learn new behaviors, our product portfolio is designed to address every participant individually. At the same time, we want to serve the needs of organizations to train their employees at a larger scale. That’s why we integrate individualized design into fully flexible, scalable programs. Our participants enjoy the way this modular structure draws on their individual needs and leverages the benefits of learning together as groups, teams, organizations.

2.           When did you realize that coaching was your passion?

I have been working with multicultural teams for many years and always loved the bubbling sharing of ideas that emerge from mixing diverse points of view, backgrounds, and personalities.

In the context of a training at work many years ago, I took the MBTI® (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) and was struck by the relevance of this tool. It helped me tremendously in my professional and private lives and it was an eye-opener about the potential that lies in each of us and in our relationships. Around the same time, I started to give lectures at different universities in the field of intercultural psychology, which gave me another perspective on people development and human interactions. This powerful combination of both personality and culture certainly triggered my passion for coaching.  

Every day, I see how the human factor is essential to make a project successful, as it blends into different aspects: The way team members work with each other, the influence of a leader who inspires them to achieve beyond expectations, a moment of awareness that makes them turn unprecedented situations into opportunities. It is indeed an essential ingredient for teams to deliver high performance, create great products, and sustainably shape their organizations.

I am passionate about combining collective intelligence, diversity, and personal development to bring both people and organizations further. Thriving is also about purpose, focus and fun, and meaningful working relationships. To me, coaching, whether with leaders, individual contributors, or teams, is one of the most powerful approaches to trigger and support this, and to develop Emotional Intelligence.

3.           What is Emotional Intelligence? 

It is your best key to success! Research suggests that your Emotional Intelligence (EI) represents as much as 80% of your success in life! Your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) contributes to 20% of your success only.

And the great news is: while your IQ stays the same all your life, you can train and increase your Emotional Intelligence, without limits. It all starts with working on your self-awareness.

In short, Emotional Intelligence has a lot to do with empathy as it is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own and other’s emotions to communicate effectively, cope with challenges, and build successful relationships.

The fact that Emotional Intelligence blends personal and social skills not only helps you to better adapt in different environments. It also enriches your relationships and supports your sense of fulfillment in life. As social systems, companies benefit tremendously from training their employees on increasing their EI skills at all levels of the organization. This results in greater job satisfaction, higher productivity, and less fluctuation. And it sustains a corporate culture based on feedback, appreciation, and shared responsibility.

4.           Why do you think it is important to upgrade our Emotional Intelligence?

Building Emotional Intelligence skills are crucial in the global, digital, hyper-connected world we live in today. With the rise of Artificial Intelligence and automation, Emotional Intelligence is what really makes a difference; it is the skillset that allows leaders and teams navigate and thrive in this complex and ever-changing reality. Empathy and organizational awareness for instance are skills that are profoundly human – and that are essential to solve complex problems. Only by better understanding yourself and your peers, can you develop rewarding relationships and connect the different aspects of your life. It is your Emotional Intelligence that makes you stronger over time, that helps you to increase your resilience, guides your social behavior and makes you build stronger bonds in life and at work.

5.           How does resilience affect our private and business lives? 

The ability to keep a positive outlook on life, to be connected to your inner resources when you need them most, and to be able to cope in times of uncertainty, is key to happiness, balance and thriving.

In our private life, being resilient helps us to overcome difficult situations and learn from these, even when it seems hard at first to see the positive in them.

Resilience is an ability that is developed on both the individual and collective levels. In fact, the success of leaders is not measured by the problems they solve, but by the way in which they bring their teams together to bond, make decisions through the challenges and grow from them. Our training programs enable leaders with a sense of confidence that is necessary to be the backbone of the company. For example, our Leadership Programs are brimming with insights into self-awareness, effective communication and of course the most vital skills of stress management. All these aspects are necessary for your private life as well. In fact, a lot of the techniques we learn to reduce our daily stress or to manage challenges at work are indeed holistically applicable.

6.           Can you give some tips on how to train our resilience?

Knowing that for approximately 90% of the time, we act upon unconscious mental processes, you can see how important it is to raise our consciousness in everyday life. I find this quote from Carl Jung extremely powerful: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate”. The more conscious you get about who you are, what you feel and what drives you, the higher your sense of being in control of the events of your life will be – and the more you will learn and grow. This is what strengthens your personal and professional development. Effective tips to increase your resilience draw on raising your self-awareness and building your strengths further. They also bring body, mind, and heart together: Becoming more conscious of your body (focusing your attention on your feet when you walk for example), your thoughts (identifying recurring thought patterns, doing meditation exercises), your emotions and your personal strengths (getting feedback from people you trust).  Besides, having good laughs and good sleep also contributes greatly to reducing stress in your life. Having resilient leaders and teams is key for any organization, so resilience is a fundamental topic that is always part of our leadership development programs, whether for young or experienced leaders.

7.           In your opinion, how does Emotional Intelligence influence leadership skills and personal effectiveness?

Leaders with high Emotional Intelligence are the ones who communicate with great impact. They have exceptional influence and keep people engaged in the long run. They also demonstrate service orientation towards their teams and the organization. Emotionally intelligent leaders are the ones you want to follow because you trust them, and you believe in their cause. They build long-lasting relationships and are great networkers. They are also innovative thinkers, thanks to their ability to integrate new perspectives and to their positive outlook.

EI is the form of intelligence that makes you connect the dots between yourself, the others, and your organization, between what you realize and what you strive to achieve. Personal effectiveness means the ability to make the best use of your strengths to reach your objectives and further develop. On a personal level, EI enables you to understand your own strengths, but also possible blockades and the inner resources you can count on to overcome them, thrive at work, develop, and build successful relationships. You gain clarity about your goals and the skills you need to build to reach them. Emotional Intelligence brings all these different aspects in a flow that contributes to the development of healthy habits such as self-reflection, learning mindset, and appreciative communication.

8.           For whom specifically do you think it will be useful to train resilience? 

We all need to train resilience, as it is the fundamental ability to keep on our feet when we go through challenging experiences, to learn from them and to cope. Yet we are all different. This means that being able to understand individual personalities with their different types and needs is extremely useful. Each of us is a unique blend of personal preferences, experiences, and cultural backgrounds. It is fascinating to see that different personality types have very diverse approaches to resilience, and very different needs to it. For instance, some personality types will have a natural tendency to be more optimistic than other types, to connect easier with others but might have difficulties with finishing things; whereas others will be strong at keeping at things, anchoring themselves in reality, but may find it difficult to reach out and ask for help when they need. Psychometric instruments such as the MBTI® (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®) or FIRO™ (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation™) can greatly help to better understand your behavior and the behavior of others, as well as identify your personal strengths, needs and development areas.

9.           Due to the current pandemic, can people participate in your classes online?

Absolutely. We love creating digital learning journeys. Currently we are running several open programs blending live online workshops, coaching and e-learning. Our 6-weeks Leadership Program for emerging leaders starts in November, for which you can apply now. We are also opening Early Bird registrations for our five-month Leadership Program for experienced leaders, starting in February 2022. We have been following a digital learning strategy since 2017, as we were looking for ways to increase the effectiveness of our training programs, so people could remember and apply more of their learning. By then, we realized that we could drastically improve the way people learn and retain knowledge when supported by a dedicated learning path on our digital campus. We started offering blended courses on the Cambiana Campus four years ago and have since the beginning of the pandemic turned all our classes into full online versions with strongly interactive activities, live webinars and workshops, to create unique learners’ experiences. In addition to open programs, we offer inhouse and modular courses for leadership, team development and personal effectiveness – online and supported by live trainers to increase participants’ engagement.

10.         How can our readers contact you and follow on social media?

We are on LinkedIn:


Make sure to visit our website

Here you will find more information about the upcoming Leadership Program:

We look forward to getting in touch with you!

11.         Finally, can you please share your motto and your favorite quote?

My motto in life is that everything is possible, and when they say the sky is the limit, well, are there really limits to the sky? As for the quote, I especially love this one from Albert Einstein along the same lines: “Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere”. We have more resources than we sometimes think and the power of beliefs to release our creative energy is immense. I believe that each of us has, in very unique ways, an amazing potential for finding innovative solutions, improving the quality of their lives and bringing positive contributions to our world. Behind everything we do at Cambiana, we act upon this philosophy and want to contribute to helping people thrive and grow.