The Johari window model consists of four quadrants representing the relationship between the amount of information known to others about ourselves and what others don't know about us. The model is also instrumental in revealing the extent of personal awareness about one 's personality. The four panes are mutually dependent such that an increase in one mirror results to a decrease in another plane. The outlook of the window where one is in a relationship with a close friend is different compared to a one involving a relationship with an acquaintance.
In the initial stages of friendship, the window has four equal quadrants. Since there is a balance between the open self, representing the information about myself that is known to me and my friend, and the blind spot, the information about myself that is unknown to me but my friend is aware of it as illustrated in figure 1 (Saxena, 2015). Moreover, there will be a balance between the hidden self, details about my personality that I manage to conceal them from others, and the unknown self, the details about my character that are unknown to both my friend and me.
Figure 1: The Original Johari Window retrieved fromSaxena, P. (2015). Johari Window: An Effective Model for Improving Interpersonal Communication and Managerial Effectiveness.
My Friend’s Awareness of Me
Arena: Details of my personality that are known to my friend including that I am dependable, idealistic, religious, mature, loving and kind. My friend awareness about achievements including that I have received several awards for innovativeness. She also knows that I come from a poor background and I have a heterosexual orientation.
Blind Spot: Things that my friend sees in me but I am unaware of the same.
Hidden: Things that I will communicate while I feel safe.
Unknown: Unexplored aspects of my personality.
Figure 2: My Friend awareness about my personality
Interactions with a close friend increase my self-awareness, I get more open about my worldview, and there is very little that I don't know about myself as illustrated in figure 2. The increased trust contributes to the development of norms for receiving and giving feedback (Saxena, 2015). Due to increased confidence and openness, my friend will not have to project more personal meaning and interpretations about my behavior since she becomes more aware of my willingness to solicit feedback and develops a more significant understanding of my actions.
The increased size of the open arena and the decreased size of the hidden and the blind spot is due to information sharing. Making self-disclosures increase my friend's knowledge about my personality, age, thoughts, aspirations, previous achievements, likes, favorites,and dislikes. A reduction of the hidden area is also attributable to giving feedback to my friend on questions that she poses about my background,and my perceptions (Saxena, 2015). A reduction of the blind spot is due to feedback solicitation by asking questions and receiving answers from my friend about my character.
A New Co-Worker
Open Arena: Open information about me including that I am punctual and hardworking Blind Spot: Few details are known that I am unaware of
Unknown: There is a lot of information that is unknown to me and my friend about myself.
Hidden: Information that I have decided to conceal to my colleague about my background, social status and my stand in politics and personality including that I am loving and dependable Figure 3: A co-worker awareness of my character
The diagram involving my friend shows a large open arena while the one involving my colleague shows a small open field. A lot of information about me that is known to my friend is unknown to my colleague including details about my background age, economic status, previous achievements, perceptions,anddislikes as illustrated in figure 3. My colleague is unaware of my private issues that have no bearing on activities in the work environment.Other differences between the two diagrams involvethe layout, the one involving my new co-worker has a sizeable unknown area since a new co-worker has limited information about my latent abilities.
The fact that my colleague knows little about me it creates a relationship of lack of trust between him and me. The new co-worker is likely to make judgments from my conduct and to treat me with suspicion due to unawareness of my personality aspects including that I am dependable and kind that make him fear that I may have hidden agendas or manipulative intentions (Saxena, 2015). Lack of trust hinders open and positive communication, breeds misunderstandings and make my colleague retaliate by revealing limited information about himself. We remain silent most of the time,andit limits my participation in debates regarding issues where my stand can amount to accidental disclosures. Taking a relationship to the next level
The existence of common interest, the expression of kindness and signals of acceptance raises my desire to extend the level of a relationship with a friend. During the experimentation phase, I am likely to share little personal information and observe the behavior by the other individual to determine whether they are happy with spending time with me. Signals of acceptance by a friend including an invitation to a vacation or dinner signify that is time to take the relationship to a deeper level. Other signs of recognition include the tendency of the other person to request for favors and their willingness to grant favors in return (Huang & Knight, 2017). Also, the tendency of a friend to use personal idioms including our and we indicating a reduction in typical restrictions on own space and on possessions. Individuals who are interested in a close friendship are likely to ask in-depth questions about my personality and background since they have a desire to truly understand me making me have a desire to have a deeper relationship with them.
Overall, the Johari model is instrumental in explaining information sharing between friends and within a team of employees in the workplace. An exercise significant discretion in determining the information to reveal or conceal to friends. Colleagues in the workplace are likely to share information related to the task and avoid disclosures about the personal information that may increase their vulnerability to a situation where they give too much information about themselves. A relationship of lack of trust is prevalent among acquaintances.
Huang, L., & Knight, A. P. (2017). Resources and relationships in entrepreneurship: an exchange theory of the development and effects of the entrepreneur-investor relationship. Academy of Management Review, 42(1), 80-102.
Saxena, P. (2015). Johari Window: An Effective Model for Improving Interpersonal Communication and Managerial Effectiveness. SIT Journal of Management, 5(2), 134-146
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