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Time to Take a Look Through the Johari Window?

The Johari Window is a construct that helps us better understand our relationship with ourselves and with others. Let me explain (and for many of you, remind).


When using this tool, you pick a number of adjectives that you feel best describe your personality. You then ask others (friends, family, co-workers) to pick an equal number of adjectives that describe you. These adjectives are then inserted into the Johari Window into the OPEN quadrant. These are the traits that both you and others perceive about you.

I recently did this exercise with a few people from my team and the some of the open, agreed upon adjectives for me were logical, persuasive, urgent, and decisive.


The HIDDEN quadrant is the spot for adjectives that you believe to be true about yourself but aren’t selected by your peers. These are things that your peers are either unaware of about you or they perceive to be untrue.


Some of the hidden words that people shared about themselves were introspective, introverted, and cautious. It takes courage to be vulnerable like this, but it can go a long way into building trust with your team.


The BLIND SPOT quadrant is where your peers place adjectives about you that they observe. These represent what others perceive about you but you are blind to.


Some of our blind spot words were impatient, reserved, driven, and open book.


The UNKNOWN quadrant is typically empty unless there are behaviors or evidence that suggest there is something not understood about you or deserves more digging.


All clear? Ok, so what?


If you want to know your blind spots and are willing to accept there are unknowns that require exploration, you can begin to make changes that are holding you back from achieving what you want in life.


It’s also helpful to compare how you see yourself relative to how others see you. You’ll recall the Socrates quote that “an unexamined life is not worth living.” True examination must go beyond our own self-perceptions.


Consider opening Johari’s Window and letting the light shine in on your life. You may be surprised what you learn.