Widely recognized as a pioneer in teaching communication skills and conflict resolution methods to parents, teachers, youth, organization managers and employees, Dr. Thomas Gordon was the founder of Gordon Training International. His Gordon Model concepts are now known world-wide. (Watch our short video commemorating our 60 year anniversary–1962-2022)
A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Gordon received his B.A. from DePauw University, his M.A. from Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where he served on the faculty for five years. From 1942-1946 he served in the Army Air Force.
He was the author of nine books: Group-Centered Leadership, Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.), Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.), Teacher Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.), Parent Effectiveness Training in Action, Discipline That Works, Sales Effectiveness Training (co-authored with Carl Zaiss), Making The Patient Your Partner (co-authored with W. Sterling Edwards, M.D.) and Good Relationships: What Makes Them, What Breaks Them (co-authored with Noel Burch). His books have been published in over 32 languages and over 7 million copies have been sold worldwide. (If you’d like an in-depth biography on Dr. Gordon, we offer an e-autobiography from our “Books” page.)
In addition, Dr. Gordon contributed over 50 published articles on organizational leadership, communications, counseling, discipline, parenting, conflict resolution and democratic decision-making.
The Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) program, which he introduced in 1962, is widely recognized as the first skill-based training program for parents. It spawned the widespread parent training movement in the U.S. and it has been taught to over a million parents in over 50 countries around the world.
The P.E.T. book was updated and revised in 2000 and again in 2019. GTI has revised and updated the P.E.T. program and workshop materials periodically.
The Teacher Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.) program was introduced in 1965 in response to parents who wanted their children to be treated the same way at school as they were at home. T.E.T. has been taught as an accredited course to hundreds of thousands of teachers in the U.S. and in a number of foreign countries. The T.E.T. book was revised in 2003 and the T.E.T. workshop materials have been revised and updated a number of times.
The Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.) program was introduced in 1957 and revised many times since then. L.E.T. has been taught in hundreds of corporations in the U.S. and worldwide, including many Fortune 500 companies [click here to see our list of our clients]. Dr. Gordon is recognized as a pioneer in developing a model of democratic and collaborative leadership and identifying the effective communication and conflict resolution skills required to implement it. The L.E.T. book was revised in 2001 in a 25th anniversary edition and is now in it’s 35th printing.
Dr. Gordon was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a member of its Division of Peace Psychology. He was also a member of the National Peace Foundation, the Association of Humanistic Psychology, and a past President of the California Psychological Association. He was the first recipient of the Career Achievement Award from the National Parenting Instructors Association. He was a consultant to the 1970 White House Conference on Children and an invited speaker to the White House Fellows.
Dr. Gordon was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, 1998 and in 1999. He was the recipient of the American Psychological Foundation’s 1999 Gold Medal Award for Enduring Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest. He was also the recipient of the 2000 Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Psychological Association.
He was married to Linda Adams, the President and CEO of Gordon Training International, has two adult daughters, two grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He passed away on August 26, 2002.
Click here for an in-depth look into the origins of the Gordon Model. (And check out our short video commemorating our 60 year anniversary.)
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