What is the Johari Window?
The Johari window is a simple and useful framework to improve self-awareness and understand your relationship with yourself and others. This framework was developed by two psychologists named Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955. The Johari Window is a window to become aware of yourself and also serve as a useful tool in understanding how information is given and received in relationships.
The Johari window model designates a “window” to each individual, breaking down into four quadrants in the grid – Open Area, Blind Spot, Hidden Area, and Unknown Area.
What is the Open Area?
In the Johari Window, it is the part of you that is known to yourself and others. This area consists of everything you know about yourself that you are willing to share with others and also everything others know about you. You can build trust by sharing this information with others and learning about others from the information they share about you. It might be something like “I know I shouldn’t talk so much” or “I like chocolate” or “I like wearing blue shirts.”
Examples of the open area include personality traits, dressing style, body language, behaviour, gestures, tone of voice, etc.
What is the Blind Spot?
In the Johari Window, this is the part that is unknown to yourself and known to others. This area consists of actions and behaviours known to others that you are unaware of. This information can be very useful for personal growth as it might show you your weaknesses and strengths. This shows how others perceive you. The feedback can be both positive and negative. This might be “You have got something on your face” or “You tend to chew your nails when stressed” or “You play with your hair when you’re excited.”
Other examples of this area include unconscious habits that might hurt others, positive behaviour observed by others, etc
What is the Hidden Area?
In the Johari Window, this is the part that is known to yourself and unknown to others. This Area is also known as Facade and consists of personal information that you are not comfortable sharing with others. You might usually avoid and keep that information more private, sometimes having a fear of getting different reactions from people. This can be “I am dealing with a lot of anxiety” or “I have so much going on at home” or “I don’t feel good when I’m with that person.”
Other examples of the Hidden Area maybe your emotions, opinions, feelings, ambitions and dreams, etc.,
What is the Unknown Area?
In the Johari Window, this part is unknown to you and as well as others. Simply referred to as “Unknown” or “Dark” or “Undiscovered”. This area usually is discovered in the future and also sometimes includes subconscious information. You will only reduce this area by encountering different situations, self-discovery and sometimes people’s observations. This area might be bigger for children or young adults, as they are still discovering themselves. This might be some fear you have which you may not know about until you’re in the situation, such as stage fright or fear of heights.
Some of the examples for this area are unknown fears, hidden talents, past traumas, capabilities or sometimes childhood memories.
How to use The Johari Model
While using The Johari Model, the aim is to understand each of the areas in the window and expand your open area by reducing the hidden area (also known as a facade). The window helps you in understanding yourself better and also promotes better relationships with people.
The Johari Window is useful in improving self-awareness, better communication with others and building trustful relationships.
There are four simple steps to use The Johari Model
- Write down all the things you know about yourself. Start by writing down a minimum of 10 things which can be qualities, skills or “I am” sentences. Describe your strengths and weaknesses.
- Talk and ask your close ones to pick the things from the lot that they agree on. Include the agreed ones in the Open Area. Enter the remaining things into the Hidden Area.
- Now ask them what things they have to add about you. From the things they tell/write, pick things you already know and include them in the Open Area like before. Things left that you didn’t know will be entered in the Blind Area.
- Take some time to reflect and understand the things you want to enter and are unaware of. This can be “Why am I not patient enough?” or “Why can’t I manage my time properly?”
Where to use The Johari Window Model
The Johari Window is usually used for self-discovery. It can be used both personally and professionally. It helps you discover things about yourself and learn new things that you were unaware of. This is used to develop leadership skills and efficient teams in organizations. This model focuses on improving communication and social skills. Out of all models used for exploring or knowing about oneself, The Johari Window is the best for personal growth. This model is also used in groups, workplaces, business corporations, family therapy, etc.,
The Johari Window is a framework or model that is used for self-awareness, personal growth and discovery. It’s a unique model that is different for each person and can help you in different ways.
On the Evolve app, there is a journey to become more self-aware that is designed with experts and is a simulation of an in-person workshop, which helps you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, emotions and core values. It uses the Johari Window and other such techniques to help you discover yourself and your personality better.
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*Lalitha Pidatala is a co-contributor to this article.