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Friday, September 9, 2011

Johari Window

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Creators of Johari Window Concept and Model

  • Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham created Johari Window concept and model.
  • Johari Window model was named after the first names of its creators.
  • It was created in 1955.
  • Initially it was created as a game to help people understand their mental capabilities.
  • The model is used for introspection, self-awareness and overall personality development.

Mapping the Mind

  • The human actions are entirely guided by the mind and therefore, knowing about our mind is very crucial. If mind directs us to use our talents, we use them otherwise we do not use them. If the mind thinks in a particular direction, we tend to move in that direction.
  • However, it’s difficult to visualize the mind, It's also difficult to know what the mind is made up of, what are its contents. This is where Johari window comes to our rescue. We can map our minds by using the concepts and model of Johari Window. Johari Window describes the mind in a very simple to understand manner.
  • Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham gave a pictorial definition of mind through their Johari Window. They mentioned that mind is like a square-shaped window with four partitions; each partition with different kinds of glass panes- one transparent, other two allowing one way vision (like through a tinted glass) and fourth partition has opaque glass.

Four Partitions or Compartments or Quadrants of Johari Window

The four partitions of Johari Window are called:
  1. Open self (or arena)
  2. Hidden self (or facade)
  3. Blind self (or blind spot)
  4. Dark self (or unknown)
Open self (or arena)

The first one with transparent glass is called “open self (or arena)” of the mind, being transparent to self as well as to others. Whatever is contained in this portion of the mind is a common knowledge to all. For example, my published bio-data gives some specific information about me and that information is known to me and to all those who have seen my bio-data. Certain of the strengths and the weaknesses of a person come out into the open and while these strengths can be used, the weaknesses can be reduced.

Hidden self (or facade)

Second portion of the window depicting the mind, with the tinted glass, is from where you can peep outside but you cannot look into it from outside. This partition is called the “hidden self (facade)”. Hidden means that certain aspects of strengths and weaknesses are known to me alone, I am hiding them but they cannot be seen by others. Therefore, for me to be wiser on the knowledge of myself, I, on my own initiative, must start using my strengths by bringing them into the “open self (arena)” and reduce my weaknesses. This method is called “disclosure”.

Blind self (or blind spot)

Third portion of the window depicting the mind, again with the tinted glass, is where you can peep inside but from where you cannot look outside. This partition is called the “blind self (blind spot)”. Blind means that certain aspects of my strengths and weaknesses are known only to others but I am totally unaware of them, I am blind to them. Therefore, for me to be wiser on the knowledge of myself, I must get the feedback from others on such strengths and weaknesses of mine which are unknown to me. This method is called “feedback”.

Dark self (or unknown)

Fourth portion with opaque glass is called “dark self (unknown)”. Large degrees of strengths and weaknesses are neither known to me nor to the others. We are, kind of, totally in dark about them. And apparently, I and others have no way of tapping them.

While “dark self” is a very large portion of mind (80%, 90% or even 95%), there are no solutions readily available on the platter to tap it. So what can be done immediately is to start using the strengths that are already available in “hidden self” and “blind self” and bringing more and more of them into “open self” by ways of “disclosure” and “feedback” explained earlier. More you use your “hidden” and “blind” strengths, more capable and effective you become. The “open self” should become larger and larger and “hidden self’ and “blind self” should become smaller and smaller.”

It's Pity That Human Beings Use a Minuscule Portion of Their Minds

While these four compartments of the mind present a very potent aspect of creativity of human mind which in a way is “unlimited”, the pity is that average human beings do not use even 2% to 3% of the capabilities of the mind. And it is true that either you use it or lose it. So, most of the people lose it.

It is often quoted that creativity of seminal order gets unleashed from the human mind, at just about 15% to 16% usage of the human mind.
In order to increase the usage of human capabilities and creativity, the very first thing is to identify the talents that are already known to self and to others and start putting them to use. Knowing is not enough, using them is the crux. Implementation or execution is important. Knowledge, talent and capabilities will go waste if you don't use them.

Then it it is advised that the human beings should to open up their hidden talents (those that are kept hidden in the hidden compartment of the mind and never used). We advise them to explore within themselves their hidden talents and scoop them out into the open compartment of the mind where they can then be used. This process is called “disclosure” of the hidden talents to the entire world.

It is also advised that human beings should constantly get the feedback of their talents and creativity from other people. Often times, the person himself may not be aware of many of his talents, in a way he is blind towards them. Many a time, these talents lying dormant in you are seen easily by the on-lookers. So, through a process of explicit and implicit “feedback” from others, you are likely to identify your talents towards which you were blind earlier. Now, having got them from the other persons, you can bring such talents in the open compartment of mind and start using them.   

Original Johari Window Game as Devised by It's Creators

In all 56 adjectives were selected to completely describe a human being. These adjectives are given below and are arranged in an alphabetic order:
  1. Able
  2. Accepting
  3. Adaptable
  4. Bold
  5. Brave
  6. Calm
  7. Caring
  8. Cheerful
  9. Clever
  10. Complex
  11. Confident
  12. Dependable
  13. Dignified
  14. Energetic
  15. Extroverted
  16. Friendly
  17. Giving
  18. Happy
  19. Helpful
  20. Idealistic
  21. Independent
  22. Ingenious
  23. Intelligent
  24. Introverted
  25. Kind
  26. Knowledgeable
  27. Logical
  28. Loving
  29. Mature
  30. Modest
  31. Nervous
  32. Observant
  33. Organized
  34. Patient
  35. Powerful
  36. Proud
  37. Quiet
  38. Reflective
  39. Relaxed
  40. Religious
  41. Responsive
  42. Searching
  43. Self-assertive
  44. Self-conscious
  45. Sensible
  46. Sentimental
  47. Shy
  48. Silly
  49. Smart
  50. Spontaneous
  51. Sympathetic
  52. Tense
  53. Trustworthy
  54. Warm
  55. Wise
  56. Witty
Then this list of 56 adjectives is displayed in front of the participants who wish to subject themselves for introspection and feedback. Each participant is requested to pick up five or six adjectives out of this list that describe their own personality as per their own assessment. As the next step the participants are requested to pick up five or six adjectives that describe each of their fellow participants. These adjectives are then mapped onto the four partitions or quadrants of Johari Window in the following manner.

Open self: Adjectives that are selected by both the participant himself and his fellow participants are pooled together and placed in the "open self" compartment of Johari Window. These adjectives are those adjectives or traits of the participant that both he and his fellow participants are knowing.

Hidden self: Adjectives selected only by the participant himself but not by any of his fellows, are placed into the "hidden self" compartment. This information about the adjectives of the self are known only to the participant and the fellow participants do not know about them. The participant himself will have to bring these traits of his into the open and put them to use.

Blind self: Adjectives that are not selected by participant himself but only by his fellows are placed into the "blind self" compartment. These are those adjectives that the participant is knowing but others know about them. The participant can decide to invite the feedback on these from his fellow participants so that he starts knowing about his additional qualities he possess but has not used them so far.

Dark self: Adjectives that were not selected by either participant or by his fellow participants will be placed in the "dark self" compartment. These qualities of the participant were not recognized by anyone who participated in this exercise. the concerned participant will have to take a close look at these adjectives and make a plan of action to develop some of these qualities as per his requirements..

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