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The Johari window is a technique created by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955 in the United States, used to help people better understand their relationship with self and others. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic exercise.
When performing the exercise, subjects are given a list of 56 adjectives and pick five or six that they feel describe their own personality. Peers of the subject are then given the same list, and each pick five or six adjectives that describe the subject. These adjectives are then mapped onto a grid.
Charles Handy calls this concept the Johari House with four rooms. Room 1 is the part of ourselves that we see and others see. Room 2 is the aspects that others see but we are not aware of. Room 3 is the most mysterious room in that the unconscious or subconscious part of us is seen by neither ourselves nor others. Room 4 is our private space, which we know but keep from others.
An alternative mechanism for determining an individual's Johari Window is to plot the scores from the Personal Effectiveness Scale (PES). The Scale comprises three factors : Self-Disclosure, Openness to Feedback & Perceptiveness. The Self-Disclosure score is to be plotted horizontally, whereas the Openness to Feedback score is to be plotted vertically. The Johari Window formed naturally displays the sizes of the Open, Hidden, Blind Spot & Unknown areas, giving a perspective into the individual's personality.
The individual may also plot another Window, the Dream Johari Window. The sizes of the areas in the Dream Johari Window may be different from the sizes of the same areas in the current Johari Window. The Dream Johari Window represents what an individual wants his/her personality to be like. The individual having a Dream Johari Window identical to the current Johari Window may have a balanced personality. The Perceptiveness score from the PES indicates how likely it is for the individual to achieve the Dream Johari Window. For example, a LOW score on the PES indicates less possibility of transition.
Open: Adjectives that are selected by both the participant and his or her peers are placed into the Open quadrant. This quadrant represents traits of the subjects that both they and their peers are aware of.
Hidden: Adjectives selected only by subjects, but not by any of their peers, are placed into the Hidden quadrant, representing information about them their peers are unaware of. It is then up to the subject to disclose this information or not.
Blind Spot: Adjectives that are not selected by subjects but only by their peers are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information that the subject is not aware of, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to inform the individual about these "blind spots".
Unknown: Adjectives that were not selected by either subjects or their peers remain in the Unknown quadrant, representing the participant's behaviors or motives that were not recognized by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply or because there is collective ignorance of the existence of these traits.
A Johari window consists of the following 56 adjectives used as possible descriptions of the participant. In alphabetical order they are: