How to improve understanding between individuals?

In my teacher studies I came across the „Johari Window“ and just a few weeks ago again. I had already forgotten about it and it was very good to read up on it again.

I find it very helpful.

The Johari window is a technique created by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in in the United States. It is used to help people better understand their relationship with self and others.

The two key ideas behind this tool is that you can build trust with others by disclosing information about yourself and with the help of feedback from others you can learn about yourself and come to terms with personal issues.

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There are 4 areas:

  • Open Area
  • Blind Area
  • Hidden Area
  • Unknown Area

The open areais things you know about yourself, e.g. behaviour, knowledge, skills, attitudes.

The blind areais things you are not aware of, but that are known by others. This can be simple information that you don’t know or it can involve deep issues (e.g. feeling of inadequacy, incompetence, unworthiness, rejection). These things are often difficult for individuals to face directly and yet can be seen by others.

The hidden area is things you know about yourself but others don’t know.

The unknown area is unknown by you and others.

So what do we do with this knowledge?

The end goal is to enlarge the open area, without disclosing information that is too personal. The more your people know about each other, the more productive, cooperative and effective they will be when working together.

The process of enlarging the open area is called „self-disclosure“, and it’s a give and take process that takes place between yourself and the people you are interacting with.

As you share information, your open area expands (vertically) and your hidden area gets smaller.

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As people provide feedback to you about what they know or see about you, your open area expands horizontally and your blind area gets smaller.

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The „Johari Window“ helps to look to your own character and it illustrates the importance of sharing, being open and accepting feedback from others.

 

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Maryt said,

    Thank you for this information. It is very helpful.


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