Gain insight with Johari Window

One of the challenges of improving self-awareness and teamwork is knowing where to start. I’ve used a model called Johari Window for years as a way to guide effective learning conversations. Johari Window gives a view into four aspects of Self that serve as a path to personal insight and interpersonal resilience.

Below are several approaches for using Johari Window. As you gain familiarity with the model, get creative and explore new ways of working with it. 

Self-reflection using Johari Window

Use the model to gain personal awareness about how you show up to others. Use the questions below to reflect on qualities you express in each of the four windows.

  • Describe your Public Self that shows up.
  • What aspects of your Self do you hide from others?
  • What feedback have you received about behaviors and attitudes that remain Blind Spots for you?
  • What hunches do you have about what plays or lurks within your Unconscious Self?

Because you posses only one perspective on how you show up, you gain useful information if you share your insights with a trusted friend or workmate. Ask that person what other blind spots you might have. The more you share your results with trusted allies, and ask for their input, the more insight your will gain about yourself and how others see you.

Team building using Johari Window

Below are three ways you might explore Johari Window with others to build more resilience in a team.

  1. Hold a feedback conversation based on the results of the personal reflection questions.
  • Invite your team members to answer the self-reflection questions above.
  • At your next meeting, take turns sharing  insights you gained.
  • Each person describes aspects of their Hidden Self that they are comfortable sharing and believe would help others understand them better.
  • Each member can ask for feedback about their blind spots.
  • Create agreements based on what your learn about each other to help you s minimize blind spots that get in the way and improve trust and collaboration on your team.
  1. Use this online Johari Window to create a model for each person on your team.
  • You choose up to six words that describe you, and then invite others to use the online tool to share up to six words that they believe describe you. You’ll see the combined results displayed in your Johari Window.
  • Invite other team members to do the same.
  • Each member prints their Johari Window and brings it to a team meeting.
  • Enjoy sharing what you learn about yourselves and  each other.
  • Discuss what agreements might be useful to work together more effectively given what you have learned.
  1. Adapt the online process to do with a group in a room.
  • Create a Johari Window for each participant on a flip chart page.
  • Each team member does the following:
    • Think of up to six words that describe you. Write one word per sticky note so that they can be moved around on the model later if needed.
    • For each of your team members, think of six words that describe that person and write one word per sticky note.
  • When everyone has their words ready,  each person places their words about themselves in their Hidden Self window of their own Johari Window, and places words about others in the Blind Spots window of each person’s Johari Window.
  • As you look at each person’s Johari Window, if you notice similar words appear in Hidden Self and Blind Spots, move those words into the Public Self window.
  • As a group, discuss your observations and emerging insights about each other and about your team.
  • Discuss what agreements might be useful to work together more effectively given what you have learned.

As you explore your Johari Windows together, you’ll gain personal insight,  see your team in new ways, and have a lot of fun learning with each other.

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