The Johari Window model is a simple and useful tool for illustrating and improving self-awareness, and mutual understanding between individuals within a group. The Johari Window model can also be used to assess and improve a group’s relationship with other groups. The word “Johari” is taken from the names of Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, who developed the model in 1955.
Today the Johari Window model is especially relevant due to modern emphasis on, and influence of, ‘soft’ skills, behaviour, empathy, cooperation, inter-group development and interpersonal development.
This image was extracted from http://communicationtheory.org/the-johari-window-model/
with the following paragraphs
“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 other 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 an 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 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.
Linda got a job in an organization. Her co-workers knew a little about her and in this context the unknown and hidden areas will be larger and the open area will be small. As the others don’t know much about her the blind spot also will be smaller and the model will be as shown in Figure 1.
Linda spent most of her free time sketching in the office which was her preferred pastime and her co-workers found her very shy and elusive. With that evaluation she got the idea how she was and tried to be more talkative and interacted more with other co-workers. This helped her to increase her open area and thus making the hidden and unknown areas smaller. (Figure 2)
To conclude, this model is a powerful to use with new team members or with shy (or introvert) people to help them to have a better interaction with your coworkers.