The Johari Window model is a simple and useful tool for illustrating and improving self-awareness, and mutual understanding between individuals within a group.
A four paned “window,” divides personal awareness into four quadrants: open, hidden, blind, and unknown. The lines dividing the four panes are like window shades, which can move as an interaction progresses. According to emotional intelligence theory, individuals who possess self-insight and self-awareness are likely to be more successful at work and life because they have a more accurate sense of themselves and how others perceive their behavior and impact. Both of these quadrants reflect an alignment between self and other ratings and serve as a “proxy” for self-awareness.
The model is divided into 4 quadrants that represent your self-awareness and awareness from others.
1) Arena (open)
The Arena is the area which is known to all. You are open about your thoughts and feelings, you are aware of your behaviours and have an understanding of your skills can capabilities. Others that you are interacting with are aligned and understand your thoughts and feelings that you are communicating, either verbally or non-verbally. They also have visibility and awareness around your skills and capabilities or other knowledge or information.
2) Facade (hidden)
The Facade is the area that is known to yourself but is hidden from others. There may be some things that you know or are thinking in your head, or you may feel a particular way, however you decide to conceal this information and not share it with others. You may know that you have certain skills or abilities, but choose to not show this to others. Those around you do not know what you are experiencing in terms of thoughts and feelings, and may not know or your capabilities. It is hidden from them.
3) Blind Spot
The Blind Spot is the area that is known to others but not to yourself. There may be behaviours that you are exhibiting or things that you are communicating that are affecting others in a particular way. You may be unaware or perceive yourself as not having the ability to perform in a certain situation. However, those that you are interacting with can see exactly how you feel or know from your behaviour or prior experience that you do have skills and abilities to perform in a particular situation.
The Unknown is the area that is blind to both yourself and to those around you. There may be things about yourself that you do not know, such as your own skills and abilities, even your own thoughts and feelings. Others around you might also have no visibility or knowledge of these.
Tips for Using the Johari Window for Self-Awareness
Every single one of us acts and behaves within all four quadrants. We are all open and honest and aware of our skillsets and abilities, however we all hold back information from others as well. There are always things that other people are aware of that we do not know. People react to things differently and people have different perspectives, even when experiencing the same situation. We don’t know everything, and others that are more experienced can help us with our blindspots. We all have our ‘unknown’ areas. We don’t know what we don’t know, but we can certainly make choices to test our limits and help us discover more about ourselves.
Playing in the Arena is where Happiness and Success can be fulfilled. You will build trust in your relationships, enhance your communication, build cooperation with others and be more effective and productive.