The Johari Window is a useful model about communication, originally named after its inventors Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham. Though this model has been around since 1955, it still has relevancy to help us understand human communication and build deeper relationships. It graphically divides interpersonal communication into 4 quadrants:
|Open SelfInformation about yourself that you and others know||Blind SpotInformation you don’t know but others know about you|
|Hidden SelfInformation you know about yourself but others don’t||UnknownInformation that neither you nor others knows.|
Below is a short description of each quadrant, adapted from an article posted by The Innovation Center. (http://www.theinnovationcenter.org/)
- Open: Things we know about ourselves and others know about us. Things like how tall we are or whether or not we wear glasses would be in this quadrant.
- Hidden: Things we know about ourselves and others don’t know. Some examples in this quadrant might be our belief in religion, political leanings, fears, dreams. When we open this window to share something about ourselves we invite others in. Disclosure builds trust.
- Blind: Things we don’t know about ourselves but others do. Humorously, if you have spinach in your teeth, that might be an example of this. At a deeper level, it may be “blind” to you that you talk too much at meetings. When you let someone open this window on you, you will create trust between yourself and that person. Asking for feedback or coaching from another person, opens this window. When you want to open this window and give someone else feedback, always ask permission first.
- Unknown: Things we don’t know and you don’t know either. This is an area of mutual discovery, collaboration and surprise. The future is in this window. This is what we will discover in ourselves and one another by interacting and building relationships.
For more information on how to apply the Johari Window , please refer to the link below.