Personal improvement and Johari's Window

One of the best models, the proper understanding of which helps Motivators, attitudinal correction experts and students and practitioners of communication in a big way is called the Johari Window. This model can be used to improve inter personal and inter group relationships. This model is based on honest self disclosure and feedback. The model was developed by Harry Ingham and Joseph Luft, thus the name johari window

This tool is based on two basic premises.
I. By disclosing information about our selves, we can build trust or inter personal confidence.
2. With feedback by others about our selves we can learn about our selves and improve all facets of our lives, including Communication.
As a motivational tool for better inter team relationships the tool can be used by encouraging people to share information about each other to help create better team dynamics. Understanding of the model helps people to be more receptive towards feedback about them selves and also more tactful and compassionate in doling out feed back to colleagues, seniors or juniors. This kind of inter group/team interaction certainly improves "espirit de corps" and improves productivity..

It is a grid model with four squares or quadrants. Visual is of four windows opening in to a personality. Each of them gives a view in to the personal and particular perspective information about a person. The four windows or quadrants represent these four aspects of human personality.

1. Open area Window / quadrant. (Info about a person known to self and others).
2. Blind area Window / quadrant. (Info unknown to self but known to others).
3. Hidden area Window / quadrant. (info known to self but unknown to others).
4. Unknown area window/ quadrant (info unknown both to self and others).

1, First window opens in to the comfort zone as this info is known to self and others both. It is so because this is the info that we feel comfortable sharing with others or the info that can not be hidden from others by us. This area becomes the source of self discipline; shared discovery and feed back for helping you look through the other windows and improve your self. It also provides your psychologist or trainer with the basic information on which he builds his further strategy to help you improve.

2. Understanding the second window and acknowledging it gives us the humility and courage of conviction to ask others about the areas where we can improve and thus improve our selves in related area. Be very careful in your self-disclosure. You build trust in others by disclosing harmless looking information where as you may fall in people’s appreciation of you by disclosing information which could damage people’s respect for you. This way you may just be putting your self in a weak or potentially dangerous situation. Another danger here is that though our well wishers may give us the right and helpful information but our hidden enemies may give discouraging or misleading feed backs to us. I will also advise you to use utmost caution in the way you give feedback. Where as on one hand we have cultures having a positive and accepting approach to giving and taking feedback, you may also in some cultures badly offend people if you try and offer personal feedback.

I am reminded of a small story here:- A little bird was flying south for the Winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.
Morals of this story are
(a) Not everyone who shit’s on you is your enemy.
(b) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
(c) And when you’re in deep shit, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!

3. This window gives us a view in to our hidden skeletons, our fears phobias and complexes. We need to brood over these areas and must open this window again and again to contemplate over our self created perceptual barriers, or come to terms with our misgivings. This is not as easy as it seems. It requires a high degree of self discipline. To build this discipline and to build the required positive attitude it is advisable to seek the help of attitudinal trainers like me and gather courage first to face the demons with in you and than to kill them.
4. This window opens in to your unrealized, unknown potentials. Here again a good trainer and a psycho-orientoloigist can help you charter new paths and fly across new horizons by using Neuro-linguistic and other tools Your trainer shall encourage you and help you by taking you through self discovery and shared discovery. I have in this little article simplified this model for your use as a tool for self assessment and improvement which if used sincerely shall bring about a certain change for good in your personal, professional and social life.
.Balwant Gurunay.

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