JOHARI WINDOW: Part 2 - Understanding Relationships
In this second part of our hub, we shall talk about the different variety of Johari Windows in understanding our relationships. We shall use terminologies that we have discussed in our previous article. It would be advisable that you read our hub on Part 1 – Discovering the Principles of Johari Window for continuity and a better understanding.
I have previously mentioned that the Principles of Johari Window is an individual relationship specific model that means each person develops a variety of windows for every individual. As Hubber Ghost32 mentioned in the forum, “Depends on how well we know ourselves. Which, of course, varies not only from person to person but can vary widely for the SAME person...depending on their insight into "Self" over the years.” I have given you an example that your Johari window with your husband is different from your Johari window with your boss. It will also change in the future as your interaction evolves and your self-perception changes. I consider this as an influential concept and method to use in understanding yourself, others and relationships. Some illustrative diagram below will show you the different varieties of windows with their corresponding situational examples.
In Figure 2.1, it shows that the OPEN SPOT of a person spreads wider once he/ she starts to SHARE information about himself/ herself. The HIDDEN SPOT starts to become smaller as the person divulge some personal or secrets in his life. This is usually a healthy start for a relationship.
For instance, spouses or partners in life develop their relationship through sharing. You become more vulnerable to each other. You show your strengths and weaknesses to your partners. He/ she is usually the first person you tell your problems or worries in life or at work. You feel more secured in his/ her presence. Your OPEN SPOT window now becomes bigger the more you communicate. You build your trust. You build your self-confidence. You increases your self-awareness.
Let us take another example in our Hubpages experience. Members start as new hubbers and mostly join the Hubpages Forum. If you have notice, there are a lot of hubbers who share personal information such as family and educational background, age, religion, opinions, concerns about their kids, and a lot more. The more you reveal yourself through the forum, the more you feel that you belong to the group. Even if some hubbers do not use their real names, yet you still found new friends and eventually have developed a relationship. Hubbers now tend to support and help each other. If somebody has a problem, another hubber takes his/ her time to answer it. Our individual OPEN SPOT now expands and our HIDDEN SPOT starts to contract. This is a good way to promote teamwork in Hubpages.
In Figure 2.2, it will show you a vivid picture of how your Johari Window would look like. This is in relation to Figure 2.1. This model is also applicable to senior employees in any organization. The longer you stay in a company the larger your open spot would be in terms of your relationship with your boss and co-workers. You have now established an open relationship with your team. The open spot is now bigger because other people know a lot of things about you that you are also aware of. Your blind spot becomes smaller. Let’s say you are known as a hardworking employee to your group, which you also know because of your good performance rating. Others may see you as somebody good in computers. You are aware of this because you have developed your technical skills. You also begin to understand others every time you learn something new about them. You begin to discover and accept one’s positive and negative traits of each other. It now expands the OPEN SPOT while reducing the HIDDEN SPOT and maybe later, the UNKNOWN SPOT.
In Figure 2.3, you might now notice that there is a change of interaction. You now start to SEEK the advice and opinions of others about how they see you as a person. When you seek and listen to others, you now begin to reduce your BLIND SPOT and spreads out again your OPEN SPOT. There are also instances that when you seek out for your blind spot, you will also uncover your UNKNOWN SPOT and may lessen your HIDDEN SPOT. You grow as a person.
For instance, your boss tells you that you are timid and shy but you regard yourself as quiet. Such view is already an eye opener that you might need to interact more with your co-employees. You come to realize your BLIND SPOT. When you begin to interact, you may share and learn new things. This now increases your OPEN SPOT while decreasing your HIDDEN SPOT and UNKNOWN SPOT. Another situation is that if somebody tells you that you are “tactless” but you see yourself as “straightforward or outspoken”. Sometimes it is hard to accept the truth about oneself. Perhaps, such comment is a sign that you need to evaluate the words that you use to communicate. Such things affect your interpersonal relationship. Look at the politicians. It is usually their teammates that encourage them to run for a position. Others will give them pointers, comments and views about their strengths as a leader.
Another good example is that when a new hubber requests for feedback about his/ her hubpage. Those experienced hubber shares their opinions, thus, new hubber finds out about the thing that needs improvement. Not only that, he/ she will also learn his/ her strengths in writing. You now lessen your blind spot and come across your unknown spot. Eventually, you learn to appreciate the art of online writing. You may also realize that you have the potential to become a good writer. However, hubbers should distinguish the difference between constructive and destructive criticism.
As Hubber prettydarkhorse says in the forum, “maybe you can listen to what others see in you and then you will change some of the ways you are showing it, it is good to show the real you though. . .” Such action is opening up our BLIND SPOT. You are giving others the opportunity to tell you what they see in you. Similarly, you don’t only listen but you have taken your chances to seek possible changes in your life because of these views.
In Figure 2.4, it shows you a model of what a failing relationship would look like. Let us take for example the situation of a husband and wife or partners who start to fight over and over again. If you have read our article on Signs of a Failing Relationship, it was pointed out that some signs are having a communication withdrawal and acts of defensiveness. If a relationship is on the onset to fail, the OPEN SPOT now starts to diminish while the HIDDEN SPOT starts to increase. The person tends to hide information to avoid arguments. Thus, you now limit the opportunity of your partner to understand you better. You become more secretive and sensitive to opinions. You also start to increase your BLIND SPOT AND UNKNOWN SPOT once you become defensive to discussions. You become unaware that you are no longer open to accept criticisms. You become less open-minded. You find the other person’s words as a personal attack against you. The relationship now starts to dwindle and eventually will die down if it will not be resolve.
On the otherhand, Figure 2.4 will also show you a model window of an employee who is new in an organization. The OPEN SPOT occupies a small area because others know little about the person, which then makes the HIDDEN SPOT a lot bigger. The BLIND SPOT is a little bit bigger than the OPEN SPOT because people knows a little about the person but may see him/ her differently. The UNKNOWN SPOT is much larger than the BLIND SPOT because the new employee may be young and still lack of experience.
The Johari Window of each individual varies based on your present relationship and to whom you interact with in your environment. The situations cited above are just examples of how the concept of Johari Window can be applied to understand a relationship as well as to find means to improve it.
In Part 3 – Exploring our Self-Perception, we shall discuss the tools to discover self-awareness and how we can use this to improve our relationships.
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- TINA V on HubPages
Tina, as she is fondly called by her family, friends and colleagues, is a Psychology and Business Management Graduate. She also studied Guidance...