Since 1995, I have had the privilege of teaching the communication skills developed by the wonderful Dr. Thomas Gordon. Dr. Gordon, a practicing psychologist, realized that many of the problems that kids were having were related to the lack of positive communication in the home. He also realized that most people had little or no training in the most important role they would ever hold — being a parent.
With this clear understanding, Dr. Gordon developed a course called Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) As this course began to access notability and credibility, Dr. Gordon began teaching people throughout the country–and the world–how to teach effective communication skills to parents.
The director of the Mental Health Services of Southern Oklahoma in 1975, Charles Brown, learned of this course and saw the benefit of the course to families in our area. Knowing my background in education and psychology, he asked if I would consider becoming an instructor so that the Mental Health Services could offer this course.
He gave the materials to me to read and study and asked that I review and evaluate the data before I responded to his request. I did just that. But, I can promise you that my affirmative answer came very quickly. The brilliance of Dr. Gordon and of his parenting course was so obvious that I couldn’t wait to become certified as an instructor and to begin sharing this relevant data to parents.
The participants of the class made a commitment for six three-hour sessions with “LOTS” of homework in between. My husband, John, was a member of my first class. Our son, Brett, was three at that time. Never having parented before, we felt that the class came at a valuable time for all three of us.
That was in 1975. Brett was born 1972 and Carrie in 1976. Therefore, the bottom line is that both John and I have brought our two children up on the teachings of Thomas Gordon’s Effectiveness Training–listening, speaking, and problem-solving skills that work for the betterment of relationships and for the betterment of the individuals involved in the relationship.
Now, let me make this statement of truth. I have taught these skills for over 20 years–to parents, teachers, leaders, healthcare professions, women’s organizations, and others. And yet, no one needs to work harder on communication than I do, especially the most critical of all communication skills–listening.