The Johari Window pioneered by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingram, is an insightful model that effectively describes various facets of human interactions and peer to peer relationship dynamics and helps people in gauging their mental stability. Developed in 1950, the model which is a psychological concept, is called Johari, by combining the first names of its founders, i.e. Joe and Harry
Used primarily in self- help groups or in corporate settings as a heuristic exercise, the Johari model is a simple tool for understanding and training self-awareness, personal development and also for improving communications across the team and interpersonal dynamics. An overall emphasis is laid on development of soft skills of an individual, his manner of interactions with the society he lives in.
1) Known to Self / Known to Other
The first quadrant is referred to as the “open or free area”, where everything is transparent and communication is free flowing. It is also referred as the area of free activity where certain information pertaining to a person, is known by the person as well as by others. The open area, represent the area where maximum cooperation and two way communication occurs without any conflict and mistrust. After ascertaining a person’s open area, the idea is to increase its expanse through constant feedback and solicitation.
2) Unknown to Self / Known to Other
The second quadrant or the “blind area” is the region where others are aware of certain things about a person, that arenot known to him or her, also referred to as the zone of self-ignorance. Things that a person is blissfully ignorant or deluded about or are withheld from him - all those fall in this region. The aim is to reduce this area and increase the open area by improving self- awareness. However soliciting feedback about oneself can be extremely sensitive in certain cases. People being exposed to certain facets of themselves by others - the entire exercise can be an psychologically traumatic experience for some. It may shatter one’s confidence and self -esteem, however nature, thankfully, has armed us with tools like self -denial and rationalization to handle such situations.
3) Known to Self / Unknown to Other
The quadrant 3 or the “hidden area” represent everything that we knowingly withhold from the society. A person’s emotions, his fear,or hidden agenda are few things that are typically kept hidden from others. To put it into organization’s perspective, the kind of work culture that it forges will largely define the extent of its employee’s “hidden area”. In an open transparent culture, where employee empowerment and constant feedback are encouraged, an employee will be less hesitant in divulging the secrets of his “hidden area” (no pun intended).
4) Unknown to Self / Unknown to Other
The fourth quadrant is the region of unknown activity, which is the zone of total ignorance for the person as well as others. Bottled up feelings, latent abilities, information that are unknown to everybody, falls in this region. Such information can be prompted through a process of self- discovery, observation by others also by collective or mutual discovery. Counseling can be a major help but again this road to self-discovery is a tortuous one that must be tread with utmost care.