1918 – 2002
Who was Thomas Gordon?
Dr. Thomas Gordon was an American clinical psychologist and colleague of Carl Rogers. He is widely recognized as a pioneer in teaching communication skills and conflict resolution methods to parents, teachers, leaders, women, youth and salespeople. The model he developed came to known as the Gordon Model or the Gordon Method, a complete and integrated system for building and maintaining effective relationships.
Gordon strongly believed that the use of coercive power damages relationships. As an alternative, he taught people skills for communicating and resolving conflicts that they can use to establish or improve good relationships at home, school and at work. These skills, which include active listening, I-messages and No-Lose Conflict Resolution, are now widely known and used by people around the world. He first applied some of these methods in the 1950s as a consultant to business organizations. Then in 1962, he introduced Parent Effectiveness Training, a course which is widely recognized as the first skill-based training program for parents. He taught the first class to a group of 14 parents in a Pasadena, CA cafeteria.
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