Johari Window definition

Johari Window is a technique that aims to help people understand their emotional and physical relationship with self and other people. It is used in both a self-help context, group setting and in the corporate environment to improve individual and team performance.

The Johari Window concept was created by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955 – some consider it derived from the psychological theories of Carl Jung.

Participants are given a list of 56 adjectives and told to select five or six they feel best describe their personality. Colleagues, peers, family members or friends (depending on the context) are then asked to do the same for the participant.

These answers are then mapped onto a grid of four different boxes:

  • Arena: Adjectives selected by both participant and others, representing personality traits that are known to both groups
  • Façade: Adjectives selected only by the participant, representing personality traits that outsiders are not aware of
  • Blind spot: Adjectives chosen by others that the subject doesn’t select, representing personality traits the subject is not aware of
  • Unknown: Adjectives that were selected by neither party, either representing personality traits that don’t apply to the participant or hidden traits that neither group are aware of

Once the grid has been mapped, both the participant and the other contributors are given the opportunity to inform each other of the adjectives that only they selected.

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