What is the Johari window model and how to understand it, including examples and how it can benefit you in your everyday life.
The Johari window was created in 1955 by Harry Ingham and Joseph Luft. It’s a psychological tool which aims to improve training and understanding in various different ways which can benefit us in business and in our personal lives.
It is very important to work well together in a group or team. There has to be openness, trust and communication to work efficiently and effectively and the Johari Window is all about achieving that.
Johari Window Benefits – What does it do?
The goal of the Johari window is to improve communication, improve group and interpersonal relationships, become more self aware and general personal and group development.
The four areas of the model
This area is about what you know about yourself and also what other people know about you. This includes things like your skills, strengths, weaknesses, personality traits and your general attitude (everybody knows).
This area is about things that are unknown to yourself, however other people do know.
This is opposite to the blind area. This is what you know of yourself, but other people are not aware of.
This is the area where things are unknown by everyone. You don’t know and neither does anyone else (nobody knows).
The most important area is the first one (Open Area) the goal is for everybody to have the right knowledge to become more effective and productive. It’s not about telling everybody personal details about yourself. It’s only about sharing that information that will help everybody complete the task at hand, to communicate better and make better decisions.
By being open and honest in this way will create better trust within a group, which will encourage sharing information. Dishing out and receiving constructive criticism will become easier and more natural.
Some people are naturally more open and honest about themselves and their abilities. Studies suggest that these people tend to be more productive in the work place, and even in life in general. This system helps those that are more in the other three areas move towards being more open.
Two simple steps to use the Johari window
Be honest with yourself and make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. The list of your strengths and weaknesses needs to be things that you are comfortable telling other people about, so nothing too personal.
Ask others for constructive feedback about yourself. Even if you don’t like what is being said it’s very important to listen, be open and except that they may be right.
If done properly it will improve one’s own self awareness, communication skills and build better working relationships, and of course work more effectively and efficiently.
How it can help in your personal life
While this was first designed to aid group working relationships, it can also be used to improve our personal relationships.
Openness and being honest with ourselves is massively important when it comes to self improvement. We cannot grow, or change things about ourselves if we don’t know a problem exists. We cannot sort out problems with friends and family if we don’t communicate properly with them. Sometimes we cannot see negative personal traits ourselves, so we have to ask others to open our eyes.
Possible down sides
- Revealing too much information to someone that may want to use it against us. This is why it’s very important to be careful about the information that you share.
- People from different cultures may find it very difficult to be honest about certain things, they may even find it offensive.
Overall the Johari window is a very simple, and also a very powerful tool that can dramatically improve working and personal relationships and work productivity.