Jan 11, 2012

Through the Johari Window

With my six colleagues, forming a Septet, I had a quick jump through the Johari Window during some of the idle hours of one last week working day. Passing through the Johari Window was a very stimulating experience since it helped me a lot to be proud of my positives and to find and correct some of my faults as a social living animal, especially in a professional way. Taken by surprise, out of my narration on Johari Window,  please don’t tell me that you people all are going to come down to Cochin to see this window, which bears such a queer name, located in some of the weirdest corners of my office building. Because, Johari Window is the name given to a technique that helps individuals to understand their mental stability.

I am not going to explain this technique in detail, except telling that it is done using 56 parameters. These parameters are human attributes like able, happy, idealistic, helpful, etc. First you will be asked to pick five or six qualities that describe you best from the list of 56. Then your friends also will be asked to pick five or six qualities that they understand about you from the same list. Then the Johari Window is formed. It is a square with four segments formed by two perpendicular straight lines drawn within the box. Each of the four quadrants is called a Room. The first room, called the Arena has your characteristics known to you and to your friends. Going clockwise, the second quadrant, known as the Blind Spot is occupied by your characteristics noticed by your friends but unknown to you. The third quadrant is named Unknown, which has qualities picked by neither you nor by your friends. The last quadrant is called Façade, which has personal traits known to only you, but not known to friends in your circle.

My friend who initiated a Johari Window analysis among us, demonstrated an entirely different method. Each of us was given a white paper with two columns, titled Postives and Negatives. After writing our own name on the top of the paper, we were told to exchange the paper with the person at our right. Looking at the name written on the paper, we had to fill the columns of positives and negatives based on our knowledge about that person. So, after the papers complete a full circle, when your paper comes back to you, you will get an idea about what people think of you. So, that was our Johari Window experience.

Most of my friends pointed out my creative abilities, while one of them mentioning diplomacy as one of my positive attribute. He mentioned that my personality needed a fine tuning; and to that suggestion, I am completely in agreement. 

When I talked about Johari Window to another colleague, who did not belong to the Septet, I came to know about a different way of Johari analysis. According to what he learned, people could be classified into four different types based on their attitude. I am OK, You are OK, is the first type, I am OK, You are not OK is the second type, followed by I am not OK, You are OK and None of Us is OK. 

Created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, Johari Window is more suitable among peer groups. The Wikipedia entry to Johari Window has some more information about this method. If you want to experience it via online with the help of friends who know you well, you may use this tool. If you are open to criticism, a slightly tougher version, known as the Nohari Window is available here

After you test it, please share your results.
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