Johari Window Model

The Johari Window model is a simple and useful tool for illustrating and improving self-awareness, and mutual understanding between individuals within a group. The Johari Window model can also be used to assess and improve a group’s relationship with other groups. The Johari Window model was devised by American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955, while researching group dynamics at the University of California Los Angeles. The model was first published in the Proceedings of the Western Training Laboratory in Group Development by UCLA Extension Office in 1955, and was later expanded by Joseph Luft. Today the Johari Window model is especially relevant due to modern emphasis on, and influence of, ‘soft’ skills, behaviour, empathy, cooperation, inter-group development and interpersonal development.

The Johari Window concept is particularly helpful to understanding employee/employer relationships within the Psychological Contract.

Luft and Ingham called their Johari Window model ‘Johari’ after combining their first names, Joe and Harry. In early publications the word appears as ‘JoHari’. The Johari Window soon became a widely used model for understanding and training self-awareness, personal development, improving communications, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics, team development and inter-group relationships.

The Johari Window model is also referred to as a ‘disclosure/feedback model of self awareness’, and by some people an ‘information processing tool’. The Johari Window actually represents information – feelings, experience, views, attitudes, skills, intentions, motivation, etc – within or about a person – in relation to their group, from four perspectives, which are described below. The Johari Window model can also be used to represent the same information for a group in relation to other groups. Johari Window terminology refers to ‘self’ and ‘others’: ‘self’ means oneself, ie, the person subject to the Johari Window analysis. ‘Others’ means other people in the person’s group or team.

N.B. When the Johari Window model is used to assess and develop groups in relation to other groups, the ‘self’ would be the group, and ‘others’ would be other groups. However, for ease of explanation and understanding of the Johari Window and examples in this article, think of the model applying to an individual within a group, rather than a group relating to other groups.

The four Johari Window perspectives are called ‘regions’ or ‘areas’ or ‘quadrants’. Each of these regions contains and represents the information – feelings, motivation, etc – known about the person, in terms of whether the information is known or unknown by the person, and whether the information is known or unknown by others in the group.

The Johari Window’s four regions, (areas, quadrants, or perspectives) are as follows, showing the quadrant numbers and commonly used names:

Johari Window Four Regions:

  1. what is known by the person about him/herself and is also known by others – open area, open self, free area, free self, or ‘the arena’
  2. what is unknown by the person about him/herself but which others know – blind area, blind self, or ‘blindspot’
  3. what the person knows about him/herself that others do not know – hidden area, hidden self, avoided area, avoided self or ‘facade’
  4. what is unknown by the person about him/herself and is also unknown by others – unknown area or unknown self

For more details, you can access the details at Johari Windows

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