Wednesday, July 3, 2013

News: Smart talk success at Huthwaite


Local school pupils got the chance to put their skills into action alongside the real experts - consultants at Huthwaite International in Rotherham.

The Wentworth company is a market leading behaviour change consultancy and specialises in consulting and training on all aspects of sales. It works with major blue chip companies across the world including Rezidor, Dell, Motorola, UPS and Zurich Insurance.

The two-time Queen's Award winning company gave its offices and its consulting staff over to Year 6 students from Grenoside Primary School who have been taking part in a unique project since 2012 to apply the communication skills that Huthwaite International uses to train its business clients around the world, to their school and social lives.

Huthwaite has built a database of over 40,000 separate interactions, observational data that has been applied to dispel many of the widely received myths about what makes for good sales and negotiation skills. Since 1974, thousands of companies and hundreds of thousands of people all over the world have applied the Huthwaite verbal behaviour models in their business lives, with great success.

This Verbal Behaviour Analysis (VBA) has now been used by experts at Sheffield Hallam University's (SHU) Centre for Science Education in a study that begun in 2010 on the development of children's communication skills.

Grenoside teacher, Jenni Monach, has been working with Dr Lynne Bianchi, the principal research fellow at the centre to introduce these skills to the pupils for a couple of years in a project to study the impact they can make in a wide range of areas such as the ability to learn through group work – especially in science, transfer from primary to secondary education, selfawareness and future employability.

Researchers found that it produced interesting results for their confidence and achievement in and out of the classroom. Jenni Monach said the project was "certain to make all the children involved better equipped for senior school and later life."

11 year-old Alice Marsden (pictured above, left) summed up the day at Huthwaite's Wentworth headquarters, saying: "It was amazing. It really taught me stuff I hadn't thought about before and I feel much more confident now about the way I persuade others, talk to people and listen properly to what they have to say."

Tony Hughes, CEO of Huthwaite International and a former teacher in a local school (pictured above, right), said: "Throughout an exhausting day they've been trying their hand at the kind of effective persuasion exercises, sales simulations and negotiations that we usually run with senior executives at multinational companies – and they've done very well at it.

"Better verbal communication, persuasiveness, confidence and listening are all going to become very important skills as these children progress through senior school and out into the adult world.

"I've been very impressed by what they can do."

The winner of the Smart Talk Behaviours contest was Jessica Bailey, 11, who said: "It's not as easy as it looks, but we've learned a lot, and have really enjoyed the new experience of going into a business office for the first time and seeing what goes on there."

Huthwaite International website

Images: Huthwaite International


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