The firm helping leaders get in touch with their emotions, Premier Training Services

Premier Training Services Founder Mucha Mlingo. [Photo: Courtesy]


Six Seconds is one of the world’s leading emotional intelligence companies. It describes emotional intelligence (EQ) as the ability to be aware of, manage and navigate your emotions.

The concept of EQ was made popular by author and science journalist Daniel Goleman, who studied and published his findings on the co-relation between our emotions and our performance at work.

“Emotions drive people and people drive performance,” says Mucha Mlingo.

“This is the philosophy of the company Six Seconds, where I got my accreditation as an EQ practitioner.”

The 42-year-old founded Premier Training Services to train businesses on sales. As she expanded her training to include customer service and leadership, she was consistently challenged when it came to achieving sustained results.

In search of an answer, she came across the concept of EQ and incorporated it into her work with remarkable results.

Today, Mucha is one of the leading EQ trainers in Africa. She walks Hustle through the concept and why it can make all the difference between an average and a high-performing business.

Dissect EQ for us. How can it affect our performance?

The truth is, we really are run by what’s going on inside our heads and those things are attached to our emotions.

We have learned how to deal with them in our relationships or social lives, but most people aren’t taught how to handle these same emotions in the workplace.

Give us a scenario where EQ would be relevant.

A good example would be when a company is suffering from poor performance from its staff members. Many companies would immediately want to retouch on business skills, like sales and marketing.

You’ll find, however, if the issue is lack of motivation or lack of trust, even if your staff are exceptionally trained, your performance ratings will remain low. Trust and motivation fall under emotions and feelings. If these are suffering, no facts will change the results.

So what do you do for businesses exactly?

When we’re called in by a company, we use a four-stage system: exploration, intervention, engagement and empowerment.

In exploration, we examine the entire structure of the company, from its vision to its daily practices. The more access the company gives us to its systems, data and staff, the more thorough our findings are.

If we’re called in to take managers through leadership, one thing we ask them is to self-assess using a custom-made questionnaire.

The manager would also be assessed by staff members at different levels of the establishment via the same questionnaire. The point is to get a rounded picture on his or her skill level.

So you have the prognosis, and then what?

We enter the equip stage, where we develop the specifications of the materials we’ll use for our training. Even though clients may be similar, no two are the same.

Once we have the material, we engage the client. We take them through training that can last anywhere from one day to one year, depending on the need. We believe in using practical and hands-on methods to pass our message across because adults learn most effectively by doing.

For lasting results, we complete the programme with the empowerment stage, which is a follow up after the training to ensure the agenda is actioned.

What are some of the companies you’ve worked with?

We get a lot of sales-based companies because when we started Premier Training Services, sales training was our bedrock.

We have dealt with several insurance companies like Apollo Group, Madison Insurance and Liberty Life. We’ve worked with banks like Standard Chartered and NIC, and organisations like Akili Dada and the World Food Programme. We’ve also done teacher trainings for Rusinga School and Braeside.

Our charges depend on many things, like the time contract, scope of work and the client involved.

How well is EQ recognised in Africa?

There are only three certified EQ training companies in Africa. Because of that, the challenge we have is most of the research and data is based on practices and findings from the West. As a Six Seconds-certified practitioner, one of my goals is to change this.

How easy will it be to transform the prevailing mindset?

I recently attended an entrepreneurship programme called Inuka run by the Kenya Bankers Association.

Inuka has been developed to empower microenterprises to formalise, small-sized enterprises to professionalise their management, and medium-sized enterprises to optimise operations and enhance their economic productivity.

I implemented what I learned as a medium-sized enterprise, and as a result, we’ve seen such remarkable changes in our efficiency. We’ve been able to develop tools that we can use to drive our goal to have one million Africans practising EQ.

I’m not sure we’d have got here as quickly if I hadn’t attended that programme. I recommend it to anybody who would like to see changes in their business, no matter your current level of expertise.

So, will we transform the EQ mindset? Yes. We’re well on our way to doing that.

The Six Seconds EQ method is developed using Western data – is it implementable in Africa?

Yes, because humanity is innately the same.

The bedrock of the Six Seconds system falls into three parts: know yourself, choose yourself and give yourself.

Emotions are basically data and information telling you where you stand at that exact moment or on that exact topic.

When you ‘know yourself’, you acknowledge the existence of these emotions. When you ‘choose yourself’, you make a decision based on your overriding intentions, not what you’re feeling at that moment. When you ‘give yourself’, you rein in whatever you need to so that you can reach your ultimate desire.

Is this a good business to get into?

I think any business is great to get into if it involves your core strength and if you’re willing to put in the work; building a brand in Kenya is very viable.

I’m Zimbabwean and British, when I arrived in Kenya in 2008, I knew no one and had zero networks. Now I run a remarkable business. If I could do it, there’s no excuse for anybody else not to. My next goal is to build such solid systems that I can fire myself.