The Johari Window was originated by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingram. It is used to depict leadership personality.
Leadership personality includes both self perception and the perception of others thereby differing with leadership style which is a one-way perception. The model depicts a window which reflects aspects of our behaviour with communication flowing out from us to others through the window and flowing into us from others.
The four ‘panes’ of the window represent an area of ourselves. These panes will vary in size from one person to another and can be modified, dependent on feedback from others and a change in the trust level within a group.
The Public Arena ‘pane’ contains aspects of self that are known to self and are evident to others. This is the open face that we are prepared to share with others.
Contained within the Private ‘pane’ are the aspects of self that are known to self but hidden from others. This is the facade that is presented to the outside world. The feeling that if true self is revealed one may be open to emotional attack is one reason for the maintenance of this facade. Alternatively, the communication from us may not have been picked up by others.
The ‘pane’ which is known to others and not to self is known as the ‘Blind Spot’. Without feedback from others we will remain unaware of our impact on them, it may be that either we have not picked up the feedback or others have been unwilling to share it with us. The use of certain words, phrases, gestures or postures that have a negative effect on others are examples of ‘Blind Spot’ behaviour. These can be a permanent or variable aspect of our behaviour which can be modified or terminated once we are made aware of them providing we are willing to change.
The Unknown Pane is by definition unknown to self and others, i.e. subconscious or unconscious. These aspects may be deep down or just under the surface within our unconscious self. These aspects may not surface, but where openness exists within relationships the likelihood of this occurring must increase.
Use Of The Johari Window
- Improving ‘Visibility’ as a leader – The objective here is to expand the public area to its fullest, eliminating as much of the Unknown, Blind Spot and Private ‘Panes’ as possible.
- Improving Communication and Understanding the Perceptions of Subordinates, Peers and Boss – This process is a method whereby you can affect the extent coming across. Effective and timely feedback requires others to be open, frank and willing to provide it.
The process of disclosure is a means whereby you can share data about yourself with subordinates, peers, boss etc, in an organisational setting. The observation of behaviour is the most relevant disclosure, not what people say about themselves. All disclosure is not relevant, we are only concerned here with that which is organisationally relevant.
Using the concept of the Johari Window you can check out your own self-perception with the way others see you, if there is a great discrepancy between the two, the Public Arena ‘Pane’ tends to be quite small. Conversely if there is no significant difference, your Public Arena would be quite large.