The Reds, who have endured a miserable start to the season, stopped a run of four successive defeats when Chris O'Grady finished from 18 yards in the 79th minute after a dominant performance looked to be going unrewarded.
Reading were on course for the three points after Hal Robson-Kanu fired them in front early in the second half after they soaked up a barrage of first-half pressure.
The response to that goal was also impressive from the Reds, culminating in O'Grady's finish, and Flitcroft, whose side sit bottom of the Sky Bet Championship, is confident of a resurgence.
"I'm delighted with the way played, it's what we are trying to represent as a football club," he said.
"It was exciting to watch and it had the work ethic that we require of this team.
"I'm delighted with how we played but disappointed not to have won the game because if we had got a goal first we'd have opened them up and caused some damage.
"I believe in the message that we are trying to get across and we have built a team to get points in this league.
"I see a team that is fighting and that is what they did. But I was pleased with all aspects. The whole team was outstanding, and there was a lot of exciting points, I'm only looking forward."
It was their first outing at Oakwell since they were whipped 5-1 by Watford 10 days ago and Flitcroft felt his side dealt well with the pressure.
"The courage and bravery to play here after the defeat against Watford was great," he added.
"I needed a performance, we needed to show the fans we are fighting. That was against Reading, they'll be in the top three all season, no doubt about that and we have made a superior team look very ordinary."
Although they were second best for the majority of the game, Reading could quite easily have been out of sight by the time O'Grady levelled.
Adam Le Fondre brought a superb save out of Jack Butland and Sean Morrison hit the bar from the resulting corner.
Nevertheless, Royals boss Nigel Adkins was happy to leave South Yorkshire with a point.
"I thought Barnsley were very good, we needed our mentality to be right and it was," said Adkins. "But credit to Barnsley, especially for the first period.
"Alfie (Le Fondre) could have scored to put us two up and then fair play to Barnsley, our goalkeeper has made a number of saves.
"Our mindset was to come for three points. We didn't underestimate the opposition, we have come away from home and I thought our front two were excellent.
"Barnsley may be where they are but they have brought some good players in and they are going to be a big threat going forward.
"We came for three points but we have come away with something so credit my players for hanging in there."