Seeing Through the Johari Window

Self-awareness plays a key role in your social interactions and helps you establish congenial relationships with others. Also, feedback from others is imperative to help you discover your blind spots and improve.

To help you gain a better understanding of yourself and how others see you I suggest you utilise the Johari window as a simple exercise in your professional and personal life. It gives you visual insight into your behaviours, which will certainly help you develop more self-awareness and confidence when dealing with others. The model created by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955 was a part of their study on group dynamics and Johari is a combination of their first names.

Seeing through the four panes of the window helps you reflect upon the different aspects of your personality.

Open Self- In this arena your abilities, thinking patterns and certain aspects of your life are known to you and others who interact with you. This part includes the qualities/traits you share with others when communicating. For e.g Your team members are aware you are a lateral thinker and come to you to get out-of-the-box solutions. Besides that, they know your helpful and benevolent nature.

A hidden Self- This contains the parts of us that we willingly conceal from others such as our secrets, traumatic past experiences or addictions. This is because we don’t feel comfortable disclosing it to others. For e.g you feel uneasy to reveal you’re aerophobic and hence avoid travel by flight, or your sexual orientation isn’t straight and you fear disclosing this to others for fear of being mocked or rejected.

Blind Self- This is an area not known to you but obvious to others. Sometimes a problem or weakness can be seen only from the outside. For e.g you assume you’re strong-willed but hearing your colleague’s opinion that it is translating to being domineering may surprise you.

Unknown Self- An unknown area is undisclosed to you and others. This could be your hidden potential or innate abilities that you haven’t discovered yet. For e.g No one knows you are a good networker or presenter, not even you as you have never had the opportunity to attend networking meets or make presentations.

Now that you deal with others on a daily basis, I hope the Johari Window Model will be an eye-opener into group dynamics and help you overcome your blind spots. I also urge my buddies at Corporate Connections UAE to make use of this tool to fortify their relationships.