Barbara Jordan

Barbara Jordan

Barbara Jordan is a counselor, counselor educator, author, trainer, and leadership coach. For more information go to

  • Help People Navigate Tough Waters

    Apr 03, 2012
    Last month, I gave you several tips on listening to improve your relationships. As you may recall, I said you could avoid "going upcreek without a paddle" by using your O.A.R.S., in which OARS was an acronym representing four active listening skills. In this blog post, I will give you tools to help people navigate tough waters once you've deployed your OARS.
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  • Reduce "Resistance", Inspire Change & Motivate!

    Mar 05, 2012
    One way, as counsleors, we can inspire, motivate, and reduce so-called "resistance" to change is to employ the principles of Motivational Interviewing (MI). My last blog post introduced MI. This post continues my discussion of that approach by detailing some of it's principles.
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  • Feel Like You’re Going Upcreek Without a Paddle? Use Your O.A.R.S.!

    Mar 01, 2012
    Have you ever noticed that when you listen actively to clients, really listen, they become more cooperative? Have you noticed that when you listen this way, your client is also more likely to talk openly? And, do you notice that when you talk to them with dignity and respect, with positive intention, they really listen to you? If you've been counseling for a while now, of course you do!
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  • Recognizing “Change Talk” in Your Clients

    Feb 16, 2012
    I love Motivational Interviewing (MI). What once seemed a passing fad has stood the passage of time. MI is like Rogerian client-centered counseling meets Adlerian Reality therapy. The goal of MI is to express unconditional positive regard and empathy so that we can understand why clients want to address their problem(s) . It involves capitalizing on and strengthening their motivation for change. In order to do enhance their motivation, we must identify those moments when a client is ready for change as indicated by self-motivational statements or "change talk". Once we hear these statements from the client, we must then reduce their resistance and develop discrepancies between the client's goals, values, self-image, and current behavior. Below is a chart that contrasts Counter-motivational statements with Change Talk. Fill in the blank with any behavioral change your client is considering.
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  • Forgiving Attitude: Essential to Success, Part 2

    Jun 14, 2011
    A client was recently referred to me because he was often angry and bitter. He frequently spoke to employees in a gruff manner. Apparently, his subordinates put up with his rudeness. I asked one such employee why he was so courteous and gracious when this leader insisted on insulting him. He claimed that he refused to let this man dictate how he was going to act. He decided not to be led by his supervisor’s negative behavior. He chose not to respond in kind but to act differently. He said, “Although I forgave him, I didn’t forget. Nor did I let his negative behavior direct my life and stand in the way of other relationships.” Maintaining an attitude of forgiveness is a healthy step toward actually forgiving.
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