The Johari Window was developed by American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in the 1950’s, when they were researching group dynamics. The name was devised from a combination of their first names.
In Coaching I use this tool to identify the areas a client needs to explore to enhance his self awareness. The Johari Window represents a gamut of information ranging from feelings, experiences, views, attitudes, skills, intentions and motivation amongst other emotions – within or about a person – in relation to their group from four different views.
In my Coaching Model, during the stage of assessing the current reality I partner with my client to explore each of the four areas drawing on information from all available sources.
The Four Areas:
1. What is known by the person himself and is also known by others : This one is the easiest to access. Just the right questions and a good rapport are the ingredients needed to get the client talking freely.
2. What is unknown by the person about himself but which others know : In exploring this area we (client and me) use the results of carefully constructed feedback processes such as 360 degree feedback and psychometric instruments that involve other stakeholders such as subordinates, superiors, peers and clients.
3. What is known by the person about himself but which others do not know : This requires the development of utmost faith of the client in the coach and onus pretty much lies on the coach to provide that safe space where the client wants to share his personal/innermost feelings. This calls for utmost respect for the client, high integrity to uphold the clause of confidentiality, deep listening skills to hear what is ‘not’ being said, powerful questions to unravel what is not being said on the coach’s part.
4. What is unknown by the person about himself and which even others do not know: This undiscovered self may include traits/information which may be both good and not so good and may forever remain undiscovered or may come to light someday. This information also has an unknown potential to influence the rest of the Johari Window.
Usually The Johari Window is used in administrating an understanding of:
- How individuals communicate with themselves and with others
- How they percieve their place in the world
- How they present themselves to their ownselves
- How they present themselves to others
It can be used as a tool in coaching as I do to enhance the current reality, or as a self development tool to consider one’s behavior and reaction patterns, as an OD and management tool to understand team dynamics.
Carrying its benefits and limitations this feedback tool is again effective only and when the individual moving through the process proceeds further to make and carry out developmental plans.