In the middle of the last century, two psychologists (Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham) proposed a psychological model of self-knowledge (sometimes also called the personal growth model) that continues to be relevant today. Despite the fact that the Johari Window technique has different names, its essence and effectiveness do not change. The model is designed so that anyone using it will be able to look inside their own being, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and find a way to strengthen the strengths of their personality.
Schematically, the Johari Window model looks like this:
- The open area is what you know about yourself
- The blind spot is what other people know about you.
- The hidden area is what other people don’t know about you.
- The unknown zone is what you do not know about yourself.
This zone is the most important. It represents, so to speak, the open world. It includes everything you know about yourself, the part of your life that you share with people around you. In other words, it is your self-awareness, your self. In practice, you have to put everything from the other three zones into this one, i.e. in an ideal situation all the zones would either become very small or disappear altogether. And the open zone, in turn, should become as big as possible. The work of expanding the open zone itself lasts throughout a person’s life.
The blind spot lets a man see his own weaknesses. This can include all the things that you do not notice in yourself, that you do not pay attention to, as well as an inflated self-esteem (if it exists, of course). This zone must be reduced. And to begin with, you need to ask yourself a series of questions:
- How do I feel about other people’s criticism?
- How do I react when I see incomprehensible reactions of people around me caused by my behavior?
- How often do I ask others to evaluate my actions and actions?
- What guides me when I interpret others’ reactions to my behavior?
The blind spot can be reduced through communication with others. As unpleasant as it may be for you to look bad in your own eyes and be hurt, it is much more important to be aware of your shortcomings so that you can change them, thereby making yourself a better person. Remember, often the most unexpected and unpleasant things about ourselves are the most necessary, since they “supply” us with “material” to work on ourselves.
The Hidden Zone
The hidden zone is everything that you know about yourself, but do your best to hide from the people around you. In most cases, it is connected with the society. This could be, for example, the lack of opportunities to be yourself or the need to accept the imposed rules and regulations. People with a predominant hidden zone are usually distrustful and secretive and cannot reveal themselves even in the company of the closest people.
To reduce the size of the represented zone, you need to make it as rare as possible to get into uncomfortable situations for you. For example, if you communicate in a circle of people who do not respect and do not appreciate you, it would be better to change the circle of communication. If you have a fear of speaking in public, you can either not speak and stop trying to become a good public speaker, or take a specialized training or training that will help you master the art of public speaking (you can find it here). The main thing is to get the point across: stop living and functioning in an unpleasant, constraining, hostile environment.
The Unknown Zone
The unknown zone may be called the most problematic zone. However, it is where your hidden potential lies; it opens the door to personal growth, introspection, development of hidden abilities and talents.
The unknown zone can be reduced through the identification of these most hidden abilities, expanding your comfort zone, obtaining new knowledge and learning new skills.
A person’s work on himself, as is not difficult to see at all, is a process, on the one hand, very clear, and on the other hand, quite laborious. But if we remember the goal of this work, it is worth the effort, because through self-knowledge a qualitatively new level of life can be achieved, because it allows avoiding a mass of troubles, delicate situations, stresses and problems.
For example, if you consider yourself a hardworking person, but you know that you quickly get bored with monotonous work, you may not take a job that is varied, or you may change the one that does not suit you. If you like to talk a lot, but most of your speeches are empty talk, you may want to start paying more attention to what you say, or broaden your horizons.
Working with the Johari Window
In the process of working with the Johari Window, you need to fill in all the zones.
How do I fill in the zones?
Actually, there is a very simple and convenient way to fill in the zones of the Johari Window – it is to write in epithets from a special set (we will present the set below, but you can also come up with your own).
On the first stage you enter epithets in those zones that relate to your knowledge about yourself, and on the second stage you suggest that your relatives, friends, acquaintances and colleagues do the same.
So, here’s a set of epithets you can use when working with the Johari Window:
Energetic, extravagant, eccentric, generous, sensitive, brave, cunning, persistent, stubborn, smart, confident, quiet, vain, talented, happy, intelligent, quiet, weak, willful, religious, judicious, different, vulnerable, devoted, pedantic, thoughtful, understanding, rejected, daring, charming, gentle, nervous, assertive, independent, reliable, wise, suspicious, sweet, affectionate, gullible, dexterous, hysterical, selective, seeking, knowing, caring, shy, kind, bold, cheerful, considerate, important, faithful, imaginative, etc.
We choose those epithets that we can relate to our personality and write them in the areas on the sheet.
“The Johari Window clearly demonstrates to the person that not only do they have positive and negative traits, but also that being open with others can help solve many problems, both intrapersonal and social, of a group nature.
If a person tries as often as possible to look inside himself, as well as at those with whom he communicates, it will be much easier for him to select appropriate communication strategies and to find ways out of different life situations. In addition, a person gets an opportunity to avoid many difficulties in the process of achieving the goals and intended results.
Remember, in our daily lives, we must learn to purposefully change the size of the Johari Window areas in the most effective way we can in each situation. All this will enable us to interact at the highest level with ourselves and with those with whom we communicate.