JOHARI WINDOW: Part 3 - Exploring Self-Perception
This is the last part of our discussion on Johari Window: A Guide to Personal and Career Life. I would encourage you to check out our two previous articles, which are Part 1 – Discovering the Principles of Johari Window and Part 2 – Understanding Relationships through Johari Window. It would be best to read it first for continuity and better understanding.
In the first part, we have discussed a short history of this concept and the definition of the different windows. Furthermore, we have cited situational examples for a variety of the Johari Windows in the second article. Our Part 3 – Exploring Self-Perception will tackle more on the tools or methods to use to uncover our self-awareness to help us improve our relationships. You may refer to Figure 1.1 as shown also in our Part 1 as the basic model of a Johari Window Principles.
You can derive different meanings of the term “perception” in several reference books. However, we shall use the definition below for a common understanding in our article.
- Perception is the act of interpreting sensations in such a way as to give us knowledge of external objects.1
- Perception is a process which involves the recognition and interpretation of stimuli which register on our senses.2
The definition of our SELF is our IDENTITY. Thus, we shall define SELF-PERCEPTION as a process of identity formation through sensory perception. This is commonly known as our self-concept and self-awareness. Whereas, self-esteem is the perception of the individual’s own worth as a being. It includes one’s knowledge of personal development and self-image. Our self-perception allows us to understand our actions, feelings or behavior.
There are several methods that we can use to expand the OPEN SPOT of our individual Johari Window. In Figure 3.1, it shows that through SELF-DISCLOSURE you can reduce your HIDDEN SPOT. This is the process when you tell other people things about yourself that they did not know. In our Hubpages forum, Hubber H.C. Porter asked “So when someone asks you . . . Tell me about yourself, you should say all versions?” Definitely, it is a NO. Nobody is obliged to tell everything to other people. It is the person who decides the amount of information you want to share to others. However, the more you increase your OPEN SPOT, the better you develop a relationship.
ACTIVITY 1 - Here’s an activity that you can do to engage in self-disclosure. Try to choose someone you know that you feel there is a chance to improve your relationship. He/ she may be a new friend, a new officemate or even an old family member that you haven’t seen for a long time. Ask yourself, what could you possibly tell that person something about yourself that would make your open spot bigger and would squeeze in your hidden spot? How did you feel? Was there a feeling of closeness develop between you and that person? How did the other person accepted what you have told him/ her? Did the other person also attempted to share something about himself/ herself? What have you learned about this activity?
Through self-disclosure, you will increase your awareness about yourself. You will know whether other people will still accept you as a person inspite of your weaknesses. You free yourself from obscure secrets in life. Let’s say, you tell your mother and father that you are pregnant and you do not know the father of your baby. You revealed your secret but you free yourself from your buried anxieties. You will suddenly realize that your fear of not being accepted by your family will all disappear. You find comfort and support from your parents and siblings. You recognize your mistake of hiding things from them. You develop a closer relationship with your parents. However, not all things by self-disclosure will end up in a fantasy of fairy tales. Your parents may have the tendency to react differently once you open up your secrets to them. The thing that you should appreciate is that you were honest to your family and that you have learned to accept your fault. You gain your freedom too through self-disclosure.
In Figure 3.2, it shows that through SEEKING FEEDBACK you can reduce your BLIND SPOT. This is the process where other people tell you things about yourself that you did not know. This method increases your self-awareness.
ACTIVITY 2 - Here’s an activity to better understand the importance of soliciting and listening to feedback. Try to work in an unfamiliar area that is too dark. What can you see? Can you see yourself in the mirror? Can you possibly work well in a dark unusual open space? Do you feel comfortable about yourself? Can you see other people around you?
The blind spot is not an effective and productive space for a person. One should do something to lessen this area. Activity 2 shows an example of having a blind spot is like working in a dark unfamiliar open space. There are lots of disadvantages of having a bigger blind spot. The better you will know yourself when you listen to other’s perception about you. It will also allow you to understand your behavior and other people’s action towards you. So, how can you invite feedback from others? For instance, you see somebody in your group who seems so aloof towards you. Try to approach the person and start a friendly conversation. Eventually, you might be able to invite feedback from the other person. You might later realize that the person was aloof because he/ she finds you strict, quiet, intimidating, or arrogant. In this way, your blind spot diminishes and your open spot increases. Our activity 1 will also help you solicit feedback from others.
Furthermore, Figure 3.3 shows the other three methods to uncover your UNKNOWN SPOT. These are through SHARED VIEWS, OTHERS OBSERVATION and SELF-DISCOVERY.
By SHARED VIEWS, you may refer to it as a joint process of finding out something about the person that increases self-perception such as learning new skills and talents. This may often be true to a parent- child relationship, a teacher – student interaction or teambuilding activities at work. You made a self-realization through mutual or collective discovery.
By OTHERS OBSERVATION – you may refer to it as another person’s point of view, opinion or thoughts about you that you did not know. Counseling may also be a form of others observation. Another thing you can do is to attend group dynamics at work that may solicit remarks from your co-employees. You increase your self-perception that will allow you to understand your feelings and others’ attitude and actions.
By SELF-DISCOVERY – you may refer to it as exploring new things by yourself. This is a sensitive process of uncovering your unknown spot. Some may be keen and able to do it well while others are not. Self-evaluation and self-reflection can help a person reduce his/ her unknown spot. Trying out new things will help you discover your unknown talents.
“Carl Rogers (1902 – 1987) focused on the uniqueness of each person and how they viewed the world. Rogers believe that the role of an individual’s self-perception and how they viewed the world would have a profound effect on their personality. . . Self-concept refers to all those perceptions we have about ourselves, such as the way we look, or how good we are.”3
The more you are aware about yourself, the more you will realize your individual self-worth. The way you perceived yourself increases your self-esteem. As Hubber Pearldiver says in the forum, “ How one views oneself, will always depend on the level of one's self esteem... Having high self esteem; enables one to choose to what degree one allows others to see them!” Exploring your self-perception will allow you to identify yourself and build your self-confidence as a person. This will lead you in building a better relationship with others. As such, it will guide you in your personal and career in life.
1 Rookes, P. & Wilson J. (2000), Perception: Theory, Development and Organisation, Taylor & Francis, Inc., Philadelphia
2 Sandiford, P., Ph.D. (1913), The Mental and Physical Life of School Children, Longmans, Green, and Co., London
3 Heffernan, T.M. (2005), A Student’s Guide to Studying Psychology, Psychology Press, New York
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Tina, as she is fondly called by her family, friends and colleagues, is a Psychology and Business Management Graduate. She also studied Guidance...