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Self-knowledge through the Johari Window

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All interactions between people involve known and unknown elements. These elements may be suitable or inappropriate. From this comes the importance of self-knowledge to make better choices in life and career, and seek repertoire to self-manage.

What is the Johari Window?

The Johari Window was created in 1955 by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham and was named after the names of its creators. The technique widely used by the field of psychology, being one of the oldest and most current exercises to work on self-knowledge.

The concept of the Johari Window is based on the principle that to know yourself, you need to take into account the perception of the people around you. In this way, communication is fundamental and feedback is the basis of this process.

What are the 4 areas in the definition of the Johari Window?

The Johari Window
Image 1 – The Johari Window

The Johari Window is divided into two axes, horizontal and vertical, and is composed of 4 zones:

  1. Open Area. It’s public, it’s what you see about yourself and what others also see about you.
  2. Unknown Area. It is the zone still without manifestation, which you have never tested and therefore it is opinion-free.
  3. Secret Area. It’s the hidden, closed zone, it’s what you’re aware of, but you’ve never shown it to anyone. It is formed by the elements that you decide to reserve or have not yet had the time, coexistence or opportunity to reveal.
  4. Blind Area. It is the area where only outsiders can see. It’s the open fly, the bean husk in the tooth, that’s what everyone notices, except you, who will probably be the last to know.

How to increase the open area?

The more you know yourself and the more you know each other, the bigger your public area. The bigger the open area, the better you and others deal with you. The relationship improves as the open area increases, as the number of disagreements and embarrassing situations decreases.

How to reduce the other areas?

  • Unknown area: Trying new things. The more you do things for the first time, things you never do. This is how you discover that you have the capacity for things you never imagined, because you never had contact.
  • Secret Area: With coexistence. The more you hang out, the more you get to know the person.
  • Blind Area: The more conversations you have, the smaller this area. Through feedback it is possible to find out what you are doing wrong and should adjust.

Where to start?

Ask for help from those you live with! Each of the people close to you, such as family, friends and people at work, know you and have a perception of what you show, consciously and unconsciously.
Talking to those who are close, it is possible to work three areas of the Johari Window (open area, secret area and blind area), opening the way to increase the open area even more, increasing your self-knowledge. As for the unknown area, it is necessary to establish a goal and agendas for new activities, test and discover what you like.

A valuable tip for making requests for feedback work is that you never disagree, deny, fight about the point the person is bringing for you. As much as someone brings something painful that came down dry, the ideal is to thank the person for their time and contribution. When you react badly to feedback you close a door, whoever brought you the point will probably fail to bring it, causing your blind zone to keep growing.

Do you want to increase your self-knowledge even more?

The exercise proposed in the Johari Window is only part of the scope to increase self-knowledge. To go further, you need to know your natural strengths, life purpose, non-negotiable values ​​and career anchors. All this will make you aware to make choices that are more converging with who you really are, both in your personal and professional life. This makes it possible to have a happier and more sustainable life and career.

AUTHOR [Danielle Amate]