A psychological tool for self-awareness, personal development, group development and understanding relationships
A Johari window is a cognitive psychological tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955 in the United States, used to help people better understand their interpersonal communication and relationships. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic exercise.
When performing the exercise, the subject is given a list of 55 adjectives and picks five or six that they feel describe their own personality. Peers of the subject are then given the same list, and each pick five or six adjectives that describe the subject. These adjectives are then mapped onto a grid.
Charles Handy calls this concept the Johari House with four rooms. Room 1 is the part of ourselves that we see and others see. Room 2 is the aspect that others see but we are not aware of. Room 3 is the most mysterious room in that the unconscious or subconscious part of us is seen by neither ourselves nor others. Room 4 is our private space, which we know but keep from others.
The concept is clearly related to the ideas propounded in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator programme, which in turn derive from theories about the personality first explored by the pioneering psychologist Carl Jung.
Adjectives that are selected by both the participant and his or her peers are placed into the Open quadrant. This quadrant represents traits of the participant of which both they and their peers are aware.
Adjectives selected only by the participant, but not by any of their peers, are placed into the Hidden quadrant, representing information about the participant of which their peers are unaware. It is then up to the participant whether or not to disclose this information.
Adjectives that are not selected by the participant but only by their peers are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information of which the participant is not aware, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to inform the individual about these “blind spots”.
Adjectives which were not selected by either the participant or their peers remain in the Unknown quadrant, representing the participant’s behaviors or motives which were not recognized by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply, or because there is collective ignorance of the existence of said trait.
Johari adjectives: A Johari Window consists of the following 56 adjectives used as possible descriptions of the participant. In alphabetical order they are: