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What is the Johari Window Model?


Discuss about the Impact of Emotional and General Intelligence.

Luft and Ingham (1955) came up with the Johari window concept which constitutes four quadrants models designed to increase effectiveness in relationships within a given group. By observing how one present and receive different information, an individual can evaluate information that is known to themselves and others and also what is not known to themselves and others (Davis &Yen 1999 p. 4). Through interpersonal communication, an individual can evaluate, describe, and predict the aspects of their own life by exploring the observations in each window of Johari model concept. Information is communicated through verbal and nonverbal styles, feelings and thoughts, facts and opinions, as well as impressions. The window model addresses real-life situations that enable individuals to improve their communication process, relations within a group, and also develop their self-esteem

Theoretically, The Johari window is a simple and useful tool for depicting and bettering self-awareness and common apprehension of someone within a group. It also plays a big role in enhancing the relationship of persons in a group. The tool is influential in interpersonal and intergroup development hence used to represents an individual or groups feelings, experiences, attitudes, and purposes. The information is used to develop self-awareness and self-development. Self-awareness is cognizing yourself and analyzing your accomplishments while self-development refers to the realization of one’s desires for personal growth. Johari window model consists of four quadrants as discussed below.

Open self

It is the quadrant where personal information such as behavior, attitude, motivations, feelings, knowledge, views, skills, and experiences are known to self and others too (Luft & Ingham 1955). The basic information about other people is identified by asking other persons about themselves. It seems more like one opens up to others who they are. It is usually not very large at first meeting (DeVito, 2015 p29). Increase in self-disclosure implies trust in others, self-acceptance and reduction in need for defensiveness. Giving personal information about you, encourages other people to also reveal something about themselves in return. The disclosure is beneficial as it leads to a more stable self-perception and increases one’s self-esteem. This window describes the information which one is aware of and is knownto others too.  One can improve the open area by seeking constant feedbacks from other people.  Also the group members can help develop the open area to hidden area through asking questions.

Blind Self

This window describes the aspects about oneself that one is unaware of and is conveyed to others in terms of verbal cues, mannerisms, the tonal variations, or the style one uses in relating to others. It can also be referred to as ignorance about oneself or the issues that one is deluded about. Blind self area aims at increasing self-awareness through feedback soliciting from other people Sometimes other people deliberately withhold this information. The tone of voice used can be misinterpreted. Being aware of these types of behaviors helps avoid interpersonal conflicts and increases sensitivity in when communicating with others. Through sensitive feedback, one can improve the blind spot window to open self-window which is favorable to team work (Luft& Ingham 1955). It helps in increasing the open area especially when group members take responsibilities to help one another to improve their blind area.

The façade

The third window describes those traits known about ourselves, but we are unwilling to disclose to others. They include the information or feelings we knew about ourselves but kept hidden to others (Luft& Ingham 1955). It includes sensitivities, manipulative intentions, fears, secrets or anything that a person is not willing to reveal. Sometimes we do not reveal the information as we fear how others might react to it or fear that there is not enough needed support to share the information. Relevant information that may have an impact on a team should easily move to the open window through processes such as self-disclosure and exposure. Through self-disclosure, one can expose relevant information to open area. For effective productivity of a group, self-disclosure is important as it builds trust and understanding and cooperation. Self-disclosure also reduces misunderstanding and confusion within a group leading to team effectiveness.

Unknown self

The last window describes unknown information that neither the person nor other people are aware of regarding some behaviors or motives they portray. The unknown self-manifests regarding behaviors, feelings, and attitudes It is only assumed that they exist as most of these behaviors influence how we relate to others without anyone noticing. Some of this information may never be known and can be latent abilities, information or feelings learned during early childhood experiences. Some of this information can is observed during sessions such as counseling and sometimes self-discovery. Soliciting feedback can also shed some light on some of the information in this window (Luft & Ingham 1955). The information can be positive and useful when in a team as others are in a position to understand you better

The Johari window represents personality traits in understanding ourselves and the self-imposed limitations. The quadrant provides a deeper understanding of oneself by highlighting some of the strengths and weakness one possess enabling them to be able to find ways of improving different aspects of their personalities through feedback and self-reflection.  According to Howard (2003, p 30) developing a person's strengths increases their response to learning experiences, which helps in improving their weaknesses as well as their strengths. This is more evident through the feedbacks from different individuals or team members.

After conducting the assessment, I noticed that I am a hard worker and take the necessary steps to complete given tasks, I do have respect for authority and very detailed when it comes to my work. From the other students’ assessment, it was evident that I am very proactive and loyal to those associated with me. I am also self-aware of my traits which according to Howard is a prerequisite for self-discipline and self-improvement. The capability enables emotional maturity when responding to internal and external stimuli. Other strengths according to my assessment are that I am good at explaining and helping others and that I have patience and provide clarity when explaining things to others as indicated by other students evaluation.

The Four Quadrants of the Johari Window Model

Through the emotional intelligence test, one can identify their weaknesses. Some weaknesses that I identified during the assessment are that I have a tendency of avoiding confrontations and conflicts and also asserting my needs. I also find it hard trying something new which was more evident from the assessment of other students of me. It can be categorized in the Johari window of blind self concept. The assessment revealed that I tend to avoid new challenges and not willing to accept change easily. The tendency of avoiding new thing is a big weakness which requires improvement (McCrae & Costa 2001, p. 1282). Through the assessment, I noticed that I have an introvert personality that makes me come across as an unattached and serious person without me realizing, yet for the people who know me know I am not like that. I am perceived as unattached and serious because I tend to be private when I do not know someone, and I only open up to the people who know me.

According to Lam and Kirby (2002, p. 136), evaluating and improving ones emotional intelligence leads to improvement of their weaknesses. The emotional intelligence can be learned and developed and improved.  After weaknesses are identified, observing how one reacts to different situations and other people would be of great help in improving one's weaknesses, for example, reacting to stressful situations such as a conflict as they occur. Being open, acceptance, stating my thoughts would be more helpful. Also recognizing and accepting that I am not perfect and makes mistakes is also another big step in improving my weaknesses. Another way of improving oneself is by taking responsibilities for wrongdoings and being empathetic to others.  This would go a long way in promoting social awareness and managing ones relationships with others.

Competency refers to acquiring skills, capabilities, and knowledge needed for job performance. Developing effective, competent skills is essential as it develops what one is capable of doing. Integrating ones strength with the competencies is important as it ensures success in performances. Competency matters when determining the job requirements and performance standards. The skills and knowledge are equally important. Competency requires the right and appropriate attitude that translates to one's behavior (Barner, 2000. 49).

Competency in the organization is not the type of knowledge one learns at ago; it requires a combination of knowledge acquisition in the classroom, internship training in an organization to enhance confidence, required knowledge, develop necessary skills, and experience, and also an obligation of continuing education on a life-long basis. Mintzberg (2013, P.44) stated that management combines skills such as leading, actions, thinking, and deciding, all together  and not applying them individually. Below are some of the competency skills I would like to develop.

  • Innovation- Innovations enable one to have a competitive edge in the market place. Innovations help a company grow and compete in the global market no matter how small the company is. 
  • Emotional Intelligence- One will experience different faces in the course of conducting daily business activities and in times of profitability or crisis; one would have to keep a gentle emotion and balancesoas to think about steps and benefits for the organization (Goleman & McKee, 2002 p72).
  • Valuing diversity- It refers to accepting and respecting the differences between different cultures in an organization and learning to interact with them without creating conflicts.
  • Establishing focus- The competency enables one to develop and communicate effectively in support of the goal of the business, or team activity. It is essential in fulfilling the business goal.
  • Fostering Teamwork- Fostered teamwork would enable one to work cooperatively with others as a team member. It would enable one learn their short comings and find ways of improving them. Team work competency also assists in becoming more acceptable to different kind of behaviors from people of different cultural backgrounds.
  • Interpersonal Awareness- Becoming interpersonally aware is the ability to be sensitive to other people’s concerns and feelings and being able to tolerate and communicate them empathetically.
  • Building Collaborative Relationships- Maintaining, developing and strengthening partnerships with other people within and outside the organization can provide support and information that might be helpful in one's growth.
  • Initiative- Taking action when one has identified what needs to be done and doing it before the situation requires it.
  • Flexibility- Flexibility enables adaptability to new ways of doing things. The willingness to modify and change preferred ways of doing things.


The Johari Window offers many insights to a person’s way of communication. Self-disclosure involves taking risks and allowing others to assist you in knowing yourself. It is also notable that other people only know about us only if we share the information with them. Otherwise, one can keep all the information about them hidden. Getting feedback helps people increase chances of self-awareness, self-management, social management and relationships with others which is important in the development of competencies needed in handling different life situations. Self-assessment is also fundamental in enabling one to identify their strengths, weaknesses and also come up with ways of improving themselves.

List of References

Barner, R. 2000. Five steps to leadership competencies. Training & Development. 54(3), 47-51.

Davis, W., & Yen, D. 1999.The information system consultant's handbook. Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Pres

DeVito, J. 2015. Interpersonal Communication Book (14th ed.). Harlow, Essex, England: Pearson Education Limited, p 28-32

Gardner, H, 2003. Intelligence Reframed. New York: Bantam Booksgroups, p 24-32

Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R.E., & McKee, A. 2002.Primal Leadership: Realising the Power of Emotional Intelligence. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, p 68-74

Howard Gardner, 2003 One Way To Make Social Scientist. New York

Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st century

Lam, L.T. & Kirby, S.L. 2002.Is emotional intelligence an advantage? An exploration of the impact of emotional and general intelligence on individual performance.The Journal of Social Psychology, 142 (1), 133-143.

Luft, J., & Ingham, H. (1955). The Johari window, a graphic model of interpersonal awareness. In Luft & Ingham, Proceedings of the western training laboratory in group development (1st ed.). Los Angeles: University of California Press

McCrae, R.R., & Costa, P.T. 2001. Self-concept and the stability of personality: Cross-Sectional comparisons of self-reports and ratings.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 1282-1292

Mintsberg, H. 2013. Simple Managing. What Managers Do Better.Berrett-Koehler,p 42-48

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