COMMUNICATION

Johari Window

The clearer your self-awareness, the stronger the relationships within your team can be. The Johari Window is a simple, illuminating tool for creating a multifaceted picture of who you are, including the things others see but you can’t.
Goals
  • Improve communication 
and group dynamics
  • Strengthen team cohesion
Tool themes
  • Self-awareness
  • Personal development
  • Emotional intelligence

Self-awareness builds better relationships.


HOW IT WORKS

The Johari Window is about understanding yourself and how others perceive you, with the goal of creating the foundation for better workplace relationships.


OPEN

The top-left quadrant of the window represents the things you know about yourself and the things others know about you.


HIDDEN

Below the Open quadrant is the Hidden, containing the things that are known to you but not known to others. These are the aspects of yourself that you choose not to disclose.


BLIND

The upper-right quadrant reveals the traits you don’t recognize in yourself, though everyone else can see them. This is your blind spot.


UNKNOWN

The things about you that neither you nor anyone else can see are the true unknowns.


To use the Johari Window template, you’ll need two people: yourself and a colleague. You’ll also need the list of 56 adjectives that psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham created when they devised this method.

Take some time to select the adjectives from this list that describe you. Do this separately. Once you and your colleague have finished selecting, it’s time to get together and compare. Take any adjectives that you have both chosen and write them in the Open quadrant. In the Hidden quadrant, write all the traits that you chose but your colleague didn’t. All the traits your peer sees in you but that you don’t will go in the Blind quadrant. Finally, the adjectives that neither of you selected go in the bottom-right quadrant. These are the Unknowns.

Once you have completed your Johari Window, the aim is to expand the Open quadrant over time. This means shifting traits out of the Blind area, creating more harmony between how you see yourself and how you interact with your team. On a practical level, this may mean asking for feedback to understand how others perceive you. Shifting traits out of the Hidden quadrant into Open means sharing more about yourself, which can strengthen bonds within the team.

Self-discovery is an ongoing quest. Revisit your Johari Window often and keep exploring the Unknowns. Observe how you react in certain situations and check in with your team for feedback. Eventually you may find some of those Unknowns are a part of you after all.


Sources

  • Luft, J. , & Ingham, H. The Johari Window as a graphic model of interpersonal awareness University of California, Los Angeles, Extension Office Proceedings of the Western Training Laboratory in Group Development, 1955.
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