Johari Window - Explained
What is the Johari Window?
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Table of ContentsWhat is the Johari Window?How is the Johari Window Used?The four quadrantsAcademic Research on the Johari Window
What is the Johari Window?
The Johari window, proposed by Luft and Ingham, refers to a system or model that is primarily used in self-help groups and community settings to help people understand their relationship to and compatibility with others. The model categorizes descriptive adjectives or characteristics of individuals into four quadrants.
The process for categorizing descriptors and the various quadrants are discussed below.
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How is the Johari Window Used?
Psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham created this system in 1955. The the model is called Johari a combination of the first names of Jo and Harrington.
In the Johari window, there is a list of adjectives in which the subject picks several words that they think explains their individuality.
Subject peers then take a similar list and they choose out the same number of adjectives as the subjects which they think describes the client.
They then enter the adjectives in a two- by- two grids of four cells.
Theorist Charles Handy refers to this model as Johari House with four rooms.
One room describes the insensible side of ourselves that either we or others are able to view.
Room two describes the real characters of ourselves that we don't know about - yet other people can see.
Room three has a description of our side that we know and would not like other people to know.
Room four explains the unconscious aspects that not even ourselves nor do others comprehend.
The four quadrants
The johari window consists of the following quadrants:
- Open, or Arena This is the cell of the grid where both the subject and peers character description goes. These are the character traits that they had chosen. What is known by the person about him/herself and is also known by others. Examples: your name, the color of your hair, the fact you own a dog.
- Hidden, or Facade This quadrant contains the character traits that only the subject picked but their peers did not pick. What the person knows about him/herself that others do not know. Such as: your secrets, your hopes, desires, what you like and what you dislike.
- Blind Spot This contains the character traits that the peers only picked but the subject didn't pick, it's basically what others think of someone but the subjects are unaware. What is unknown by the person about him/herself but what others know. Examples: your own manners, the feelings of other persons about you.
- Unknown This grid contains the adjective that was not selected by both parties. These refer to character traits that both the subject and the peer doesn't see or know, this may be as a result of negligent for both parties to see or the subject doesn't show them out. What is unknown by the person about him/herself and is also unknown by others. This information has an unknown potential to influence the rest of the window.
In the beginning of a communication process, when you meet someone, the size of the Arena quadrant is not very large, since there has been little time and opportunity to exchange information. The general rule of thumb is that you should try to expand the Arena to become the dominant window, thus demonstrating transparency, openness and honesty in interactions (Diagram 2). Probably when you do this, the other party will also open himself up.