I came across this principle in a work training session which was provided by a speaker called Rahul Dogra. He delivered the training on a topic called ‘Working in Virtual Teams’. And, within his presentation he spoke about the concept of Johari Window. In my curiosity of wanting to know more I decided to write a blog post on it. It was developed by psychologists Joseph Left and Harrington Ingham in 1955 and was used to assist self help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic exercise. Funnily enough, the name is derived from their first names.
What is Johari Window (JW)?
The concept of JW is used as a psychological tool that enables individuals to understand his/her relationship with himself/herself and with others group members. The ultimate goal of this concept is to allow the individual to build trust with others by disclosing information about oneself and also find out what others feel about that individual through feedback.
JW is a construct of four differ quadrants which identifies the relationship of an individual with oneself and other members of the group.
- OPEN AREA – in this area the individual’s feelings, behaviour, emotions and attitude will be known by the group as well as the individual. This is the area where all communication occurs.
- BLIND SPOT – is based on the idea that a group would know certain kind of information about yourself and you as an individual will be unaware of it. The level of blind spot can be decreased by seeking feedback from the group.
- HIDDEN AREA – information that is known to you but is kept hidden from the group. This could entail past experiences, personal information that you would feel reluctant to share, feelings, fears. The way to reduce hidden areas is by moving to open areas.
- UNKNOWN – is based on the idea that the individual and the group isn’t aware of the information. This could include capabilities, talents or repressed experience. Open communication is an effective measure in reducing the unknown area.
Why should you apply the Johari Window?
Feedback – behaviour that are not addressed due to irritation or annoyance can often result in misunderstanding or tense relationships. Such behaviours are considered to called blind spot – which are difficult to discuss with others. Applying feedback principle is an excellent means to communicating effectively going from blind spots to open space. This ultimately create a dialogue that allows for ideas and solutions to be created in order to address the underlying issue.
Please share your views in the comment below – I would be very much interested to know what other tools and techniques you guys use to acquire feedback.
I am a writer and a graduate engineer working in Leicester, UK.