Last week I had the pleasure of redoing an exercise that always gives me great insight into myself and persons around me. The exercise is the Johari Window.
|What you see in me||What you do not see in me|
|What I see in me||The Open Area||The Private (or hidden) Area|
|What I do not see in me||The Blind Area||The Unkown Area|
The model was developed by Joe Luft and Harry Ingham hence the name Johari. The model describes each of us as having four windows in which we have to consider as seen above.
The first window is the open or public area. These are the aspects of ourselves that are known by our friends ,family, co-works, colleagues, etc. This window is where we present ourselves everyday. These are the things we are open to discuss and observation of persons around us that we know about and is comfortable with others knowing as well. Like I think I am generous person, I like to share what I have, and persons around me think so as well.
The second window is the blind area. This area is the part of ourselves that is observed by everyone else but is not known to us. So for instance in this area, one of my colleagues thought I was alert. She observed this quality in me that I did not recognise, that I did not know about. This part is very important because many times people tell us what they observe about us and we are quick to get defensive instead of looking objectively at the observation, positive or negative. This feedback offers us great insight into ourselves that we did not have before, therefore this helps us in discovering part of the ourselves that is sometimes unknown.
The third window is the hidden area. This hidden area is where we keep parts of our lives private. There are aspects of our lives and ourselves that we do not tell people. Observations, experiences, traits, characteristics etc. that we do not share with others but we are fully aware of them. Even though we do not tell people about these hidden details it is important for each of us to understand why we want to keep these details hidden. This awareness helps in discovering the unknown.
The forth and final window is the unknown area. This area is undiscovered. The people around us and our own selves do not know this part yet, but life’s experiences and challenges will reveal this aspect of ourselves. The blind area can also help us to develop and become more aware of the unknown area. Also being aware of what causes us to hide aspects of ourselves from others will also give us insight into the unknown area. Therefore all in the windows have benefits for self awareness and self discovery.
This exercise is very good with team building, since it allows us to expand our knowledge base of each other. This exercise also makes us more aware of ourselves and what others see in us. Knowing what others see and working on them makes us more self aware making the window of the unknown a little smaller for the better understanding of self.