What is “The Johari Window?”
Johari window is a psychological tool to self-assess one’s behaviour as well as your relationship with others, through feedback or disclosure. It is one of the most effective means of self-analysis by considering the perspective of others to understand yourself in a better way.
The Johari Window model was propounded by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in the year 1955.
What are the benefits of the Johari window?
The Johari window is a model of interpersonal awareness. It’s a useful tool for improving self awareness and, through it, our abilities to work well with others. By helping us understand the differences between how we see ourselves and how others see us, this concept is a wonderful way of understanding yourself better.
The premise behind the Johari Window is that our interactions with others are shaped by how we see ourselves and how the people we’re interacting with see us. If our views are aligned, we’ll have more effective, engaging and helpful interactions than if our views are differing.
The tool requires individuals to capture their own thoughts on who they are and to get feedback from others on how they are perceived. This information is then used to populate a two by two matrix, the Johari Window. The window helps people visualize any disparity between how they see themselves and how others see them.
How Is it helpful?
One idea behind the Johari Window is that we all have blind spots about ourselves that we want to diminish. Reducing these blind spots requires seeking out feedback from others.
We also have information about ourselves that we hold back from others or that they are not aware of just by interacting with us.
The Johari Window provides an opportunity for self-awareness and trust building by asking us to be more forthcoming and transparent as well as soliciting feedback through a process of self-discovery.
The four quadrants of the window are:
- “Open” (things known by self and others)
- “Blind” (thing known by others but unknown by self)
- “Hidden / Facade” (things known by self but unknown by others) and
- “Unknown” (things not known by either self or others)
The model consists of four quadrants, each of which determines a different combination. These combinations are a result of facts known or unknown by oneself about himself along with the facts known or unknown to others
The method of conveying and accepting feedback is interpreted in this model. A Johari is represented as a common window with four panes. Two of these panes represent self and the other two represent the part unknown to self but to others. The information transfers from one pane to the other as the result of mutual trust which can be achieved through socializing and the feedback got from other members of the group.
1. Open/self-area or arena – Here the information about the person his attitudes, behaviour, emotions, feelings, skills and views will be known by the person as well as by others. This is mainly the area where all the communications occur and the larger the arena becomes the more effectual and dynamic the relationship will be. ‘Feedback solicitation’ is a process which occurs by understanding and listening to the feedback from another person. Through this way the open area can be increased horizontally decreasing the blind spot. The size of the arena can also be increased downwards and thus by reducing the hidden and unknown areas through revealing one’s feelings to another person.
2. Blind self or blind spot – Information about yourselves that others know in a group but you will be unaware of it. Others may interpret yourselves differently than you expect. The blind spot is reduced for efficient communication through seeking feedback from others.
3. Hidden area or façade – Information that is known to you but will be kept unknown from others. This can be any personal information which you feel reluctant to reveal. This includes feelings, past experiences, fears, secrets etc. we keep some of our feelings and information as private as it affects the relationships and thus the hidden area must be reduced by moving the information to the open areas.
4. Unknown area – The Information which you are unaware to yourselves as well as others. This includes the information, feelings, capabilities, talents etc. This can be due to traumatic past experiences or events which can be unknown for a lifetime. The person will be unaware till he discovers his hidden qualities and capabilities or through observation of others. Open communication is also an effective way to decrease the unknown area and thus to communicate effectively.
For an analysis on which areas you can improve in your life, or a better understanding of yourself, one must apply the johari window concept in their lives from time to time.