How does the Johari Window assist in Interpersonal Communication; from your perspective in understanding the other person?
The Johari window is a model of interpersonal processes and social interaction developed by and named after Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955. It was developed as a tool to aid in promoting our self-awareness and on exploring this, alters our behaviours. In Petrie, Lindauer & Tountasakis (2000), there are two processes that determine the shape of the window: The first is feedback, how much information is a person willing to share with you; and secondly disclosure, how much is a person prepared to share about themselves.
The Johari Window has four quadrants pertaining to our four selves which are not necessarily of equal size and can change size when disclosures are revealed. They are:
The Open Self which contains information known to ourselves and others. Petrie et al (2000) believe Johari’s ...view middle of the document...
This private information could be secrets or aspirations, shameful experiences or occurrences which may draw judgement or criticism or other negative experiences. The Hidden self does not always stay hidden. We may voluntarily disclose information or involuntarily disclose say via a Freudian slip, gesture etc... thus reducing the size of this quadrant and increasing the Open or Blind quadrants..
The Unknown Self is the unconscious information no-one currently knows. It could manifest itself in a dream or if sleep-talking and overheard it would change from the Unknown to Blind quadrant. Hypnosis and other therapies can also reveal some of the Unknown Self.
Hargie & Dickinson (2003) aver that as the Open self is increased it reduces the size of the other 3 quadrants. In consequence when a person self-discloses, they discover more about themselves and in turn so would I.
For me to understand another person effectively, using the Johari Window as a guide, would require relevant, open communication comprising of both disclosures and feedback in the appropriate social context; the result of these disclosures would change the dimensions of this persons window. I would need to show sensitivity, compassion, empathy, express my own disclosures to encourage theirs, apply good listening skills, offer reassurance and maintain confidentiality (except where mandatory).
Therefore, using this tool as a guide, it shows that with mutual disclosure understanding, intimacy and trust develops within our relationship whether, friendship, business or lover. Goleman (1995a) also believed that there were physiological benefits to health in disclosure.
Goleman, D. (1995a). Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam as cited in DeVito, J.A. (2007). The Interpersonal Communication Book: Boston.
Hargie, O. & Dickson, D. (2003). Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory, and Practice: Routledge, p245.
Petrie, G., Lindauer, P., Tountasakis, M. (2000). Self Analysis: A tool to enhance leader effectiveness. Education, Vol. 121, p1.