A great team is like a bouquet.
Just as vivid flowers make for a beautiful bouquet, team members with different skills and mindsets add to the strength of a team in their ways.
For the team to be successful, good self-awareness, respect and understanding among team members are crucial.
And for this, communication is the first and foremost skill that they need to master.
That’s where the importance of the Johari Window comes into the picture.
What is the Johari Window?
Back in 1955, two American psychologists named Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham were working at the University of California, Los Angeles, on research related to dynamics between team members. Their research led to the creation of the Johari Window model, which derived its name from their initials (Jo + Har).
Over the years, the Johari Window has become a globally adopted system for self-development among individuals in a group based on self-disclosure and feedback. The importance of the Johari Window lies in its effectiveness as a communication tool to improve understanding within a team.
The Johari Window consists of a grid with four squares of a window with four panes. Each person is represented through the four panes. Two sections or panes are related to one’s own self. The other two are areas or parts which others are aware of but the person isn’t.
Let’s consider the example of an employee who happens to be a focused worker with good output. However, she has weak communication skills and a tendency to ignore certain guidelines. This tendency is unknown to her but colleagues and superiors are critical of it.
That’s where the Johari Window can be helpful as information is shared in this model as a result of mutual trust generated through interactions and feedback from other group members.
Let’s take a detailed look at the four panes, or the four self areas, of the Johari Window Model:
Open/self-area or arena:
The first section refers to information related to a person’s interpersonal and behavioral skills. This is primarily the area where we talk about the person’s attitude, approach to work, emotions, social behavior, skill-set and social views. Most activity and communications are related to this area. So, expanding this pane of The Johari Window will benefit the impact and quality of the relationship. One way to expand the arena is to seek feedback from others and integrate it into your behavior.
How often have you come across information that your teammates shared with others, but not you? One of the most common reasons for this is a lack of communication with others or their perception about an individual preventing the free flow of communication between team members. This is known as the blind self pane. Communication is key to eliminating it.
Let’s face the truth. There are always thoughts, memories, fears and secrets we can’t share with others. At times, we have to keep the information hidden to avoid hurting others or due to the fear of earning a bad reputation. It is imperative for our growth that we minimize this area.
Often, people don’t realize certain things people about themselves. For instance, one’s ability to overcome challenges, resilience or stress-management abilities is not tested in everyday scenarios. This unknown area can be reduced by feedback from others and consistent communication.
You can’t create a path to reach your goals until you know yourself inside out. Becoming self-aware requires constant feedback, support, and guidance from others. This is where Harappa Education’s Interpreting Self online course can help you. This highly-engaging course walks you through the Johari Window as a tool for self-assessment and self-realization to improve communication. Sign up for it to know yourself better and climb the ladder of success.
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