Global Change Seminar "It's Your Move!"
Individual Exercise

The Johari Window
How We (and Others) See Ourselves

           The Johari Window is a technique to map what we know, don't know, display, and hide about ourselves, and in so doing help to bring into our conscious awareness more insight about ourselves and how we come across.

  1. Draw a rectangle on a sheet of paper, and divide it into 4 quadrants by drawing two solid lines through the middle, one vertically and one horizontally. Label the columns along the top from left to right as "Known to Self " and "Unknown to Self " and label the rows along the side from top to bottom as "Known to Others" and "Unknown to Others ". Then label each quadrant accordingly as follows: top-left "Open";   top-right "Blind";   bottom-left "Hidden";   and bottom-right "Unknown". (Click here to see example Window drawing.)
  2. Make another copy of the Window.
  3. Fill out one copy of the window by drawing vertical and a horizontal dotted lines delineating your character according to how you see yourself. How much is "Open?"   How much is "Hidden?" etc. Make the size of each of the four rectangles bounded by the dotted lines represent the relative proportion of yourself that you think falls into each category.
  4. Then give the other copy of the Window to someone who knows you well and ask him/her to do the same thing and then give the Window back to you.
  5. Date the two copies of the Window. Review them both carefully. Put the Windows somewhere that you can look at them later.
  6. Think about the following pointers as you consider the extent to which you usually seek or receive feedback on the one hand, and expose yourself to others and engage in self disclosure on the other.
    • A change in one of the four quadrants will affect the other three.
    • It takes energy to hide, deny, or be blind to one's own behavior.
    • Introspective learning happens when the Open Quadrant enlarges, and one or more of the others diminishes.
    • The smaller the Open Quadrant, the poorer interpersonal communication generally is.
    • It takes sensitivity to appreciate and respect the covert aspect of other people's behavior.
    • Forced disclosure is usually counterproductive.
    • Most people wonder about their "Unknown" quadrant, but exploration is often inhibited by custom, social training, or fear.

      Think About

      • Did the two Windows differ much? If so, how?  
      • What were some reasons they might have differed ?   
      • How easy was it to ask another person to give you feedback?
      • What was most useful for you about this exercise?