The Johari Window, named after the first names of its inventors, Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, is one of the most useful models describing the process of human interaction. A four paned “window” divides personal awareness into four different types, as represented by its four quadrants: open, hidden, blind, and unknown. The lines dividing the four panes are like window shades, which can move as an interaction progresses (Daft, 2011 pg. 273-276).
The Johari Window concept would be particularly helpful for leaders to promote understanding employee/employer relationships and is a simple and useful tool for illustrating and improving self-awareness, and mutual understanding between individuals within a group. The Johari Window actually represents information such as feelings, experience, views, attitudes, skills, intentions, motivation, etc, within or about a person, in relation to their group, from four perspectives (Daft, 2011, pg. 275).
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 (Dart, 2011, pg. 275). The Johari window, essentially being a model for communication, can also reveal difficulties in this area. In Johari terms, two people attempt to communicate via the open quadrants.
On the simplest level, difficulties may arise due to a lack of clarity in the interaction, such as poor grammar or choice of words, unorganized thoughts, faulty logic etc. This induces the receiver to criticize you, the sender, by revealing something that was in your blind quadrant. Then, if the feedback works, you correct it immediately, or perhaps on a more long term approach take a course in reading and writing. On a deeper level, you may be in a group meeting, and while you secretly sympathize with the minority viewpoint, you voted with the majority.
However, blind to you, you actually may be communicating this information via body language, in conflict with your verbal message. On an even deeper level, you in an interaction with others, may always put on a smiling, happy face, hiding all negative feelings. By withholding negative feelings, you may be signaling to your friends to withhold also, and keep their distance. Thus, your communication style may seem bland or distant (Chapman, 2010).