Though there is enough literature available in the internet on the concept of “JoHari Window” (by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham), I decided to write a blog article detailing its relevance to our work environment as it is really useful
As you see above (Image Courtesy from Wiki), the JoHari window has 4 quadrants with X & Y Axis having 2 parts each. The X Axis is split into 2 parts, “things you know” and “things you don’t know” about yourself. Similarly the Y axis contains “Things others know about you” and “Things others don’t know about you”
Managing the relative size of these four quadrants, helps to manage well the inter relationship aspects with your team members. Let us analyze the quadrants one by one.
The “Arena or Open” quadrant is the area which has things you and your team knows about you as an individual. To give an example, you know personally that you are not good in your presentation skills and your manager too knows that well, hence he plans in such a way that you are backed up with required support in these aspects of your work managing overall team’s performance as well as helping you to improve yourself by effective shadowing.
The “Façade” is one which contains things you know, but your team members don’t know about you. Minimizing the size of this quadrant in a work environment can bring down friction among team members and it is possible by “Self Disclosure”. A good example could be let us say one of your team members comes late to office for last 10 days in spite of your repeated warnings and breaking his assurance to you every time. If there is a specific reasons like a medical condition or probably a family problem that makes him late every day, if he selectively discloses that detail to you that would help to bridge the misunderstanding and work towards an approach to manage the situation better by reducing his workload in this period or by changing his working hours, otherwise it only worsens your relationship.
The “Blind Spot” is the zone containing things which you don’t know about yourself but your team members know about you. A good example for this is there are people who don’t allow others to talk in team meetings or cut others while others are expressing their view points. Many people may not be aware that is a problem with them though the entire team knows it is an issue with that person. To minimize your blind spot you should be “open enough” to hear others feedback or solicit feedback voluntarily from your team members on a periodic basis to improve yourself
The “Unknown” area is quiet interesting which contains things you as well as your team don’t know about yourself. It could be a hidden talent or a hidden problem which generally gets surfaced in a team interaction. Many of the leadership characteristics are discovered in your early stages of your career through this like a Company event where you and your team may collectively discover that you are a great guy in organizing events. Uncovering the hidden talents or problems would personally help you a lot and this can only be possible by being a team player than a loner
So in net as you see above, the techniques to enlarge your “Arena” quadrant are by Soliciting feedback from others to minimize your blind spots and Self disclosure to others to minimize the “façade”.
But please make sure that you do both in equal proportions.
If you are a person who always asks for a feedback but never shares anything about yourself, people may come to a conclusion that you don’t know about yourself and as feedbacks can vary from person to person, you may end up in a personal dilemma in assessing yourself. So self-awareness is the first choice than others letting you know what your issues are 🙂
Similarly too much of disclosures that are not relevant / required in a relationship can get you into trouble as some tricky colleagues can use this to manipulate you like sharing your school / College time infatuations to your wife. So play it safe 🙂
I assume this would be useful to many of you and sharing your experience if any to others in this context would be quiet useful.