This model was developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955 to describe human interaction. It tries to define personal awareness in a quadrants manner. It has four quadrants which each illustrate a different view of personality in terms of communication and relationships. Each window represents a kind of personality as described below.
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The first window is the open quadrant. This describes things that am very aware of about me and which others know about me as well. Take an example of a name. I know my name and others know it as well. This quadrant goes further to include all the emotions i.e. feelings and behaviors that define who I am. Understanding others is a vital part of the quadrant since it represents things that are open to us about others and which they are also aware of. (Luft and Ingram, 1955)
To the right in the window, there is the blind quadrant. This window defines things that other people see or know about me and which I don’t know about. As described by the name, these things are blind to me as I cannot see them. Take the example of a stained shirt or blouse that am wearing which I cannot see but others can see. This part of the quadrant may sometimes be misleading to us while trying to understand others since we may misjudge others depending on what they are portraying out of their conscious. At the same time, it is important in understanding the other side of an individual.
Moving down the window, there is a hidden quadrant. This defines what I know about myself that others do not know about. This represents personal emotions and feelings for example personal likings, dislikes, and others. Take for example if I love a person and I have disclosed to him/her about my feelings. This quadrant represents an important step in opening up to others since we tend to open the hidden information about ourselves and others. Once we disclose our information to others, they are likely to disclose their information as well which will to more understanding of others.
The fourth quadrant which is the unknown quadrant defines what I don’t know about myself and others don’t know about it either. This represents the unknowns about us and about others. For example, most of us do not know our potential, and others do to know about it either. It is only after discovering that we tend to become aware of it. Take an example of a person who does jogging every day. Then one day he/she decides to participate in a competition and emerges winner beating the rest. Then he/she realizes the potential within of competing in athletics. At the same time, we become aware of the abilities of the person to compete. This shows that we have realized something hidden inside that person and at the same time the person has realized the talent within. This is a process of self-actualization.
As we have described above, the Johari window mainly tries to define the way we relate with others. Relating with others requires that we have to understand them and at the same time they have to understand us. This starts with the open quadrant. We first start relating through the things we know about ourselves and what we know about others. As we continue relating we tend to understand others more through the blind quadrant as we become aware of what others and what they don’t know about themselves. This forms this base of understanding them well. Then the closeness grows and we move information from our blind quadrant to the open and we share it with others.
We disclose ourselves to one another including our secrets and the bond grows stronger. The last step is the process of interaction which helps us to discover what is hidden within us and others realize it as well.
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Luft, J. and Ingram, H. (1955). The Johari window: A Graphical Model for Interpersonal Relations. University of Calif: Western Training Lab.