The Johari Window sounds exotically eastern, until we hear that it is an illustration of our relationship to self and others originally designed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham (literally, Joe & Harry’s Window). The design is of a quartered square, with each quarter representing a different aspect of each of us.
The Arena represents areas of our lives we are aware of, and that others are also aware of – the Apparent. The Façade below it represents areas of our lives known to us, but hidden from others. We are effectively masked in this section. The Blind spot is the opposite to the Façade – areas that are apparent to others, yet unknown to us. Finally, The Unknown are areas of our lives that neither we or anyone else knows. I tend to think George Bush was attempting to reference this in one of his more incomprehensible speeches – demonstrating that he had failed to adequately grasp it and therefore made a complete pig’s ear of trying to explain it.
We can also view the Arena as the area of complete honesty in it contains information about ourselves that we freely display, and are comfortable about others knowing about us. There are no skeletons in the cupboard here, nor information a person could be blackmailed about. The larger this window is in terms of our totality, the more balanced and confident we become. Well rounded people have large arenas. The Façade is our secretive self. Here our confidence is small, our shame lives here. Why are we secretive enough to place areas of our lives here, when here is our vulnerability? Too large a Façade can indicate dishonesty and distrust and denotes a person less suited for relationships based upon trust. Because of this we encounter a degree of immaturity here. The Blind Spot is out unawareness. We are subjectively blind to features that others can see. The larger our blind spot, the less effective is our independence, rendering us at times both immature and very dependent on those who tend to protect us. The Unknown is not unknowable. We may suddenly surprise ourselves and others by demonstrations at various times of characteristics previously unseen, potential that was previously undiscovered. That we and others have not encountered it does not mean it is not there.
We can discover this by playing the Johari and Nohari games. To play the Johari game we have 55 positive adjectives, and you need a partner, preferably the person you know best, and you know equally well (so you both get to see your own results). The game is played by both of you choosing each adjective in turn, and deciding for yourselves whether you consider it belongs in the first player’s Arena or Unknown Quadrant. If you both place the word in the same quadrant, it stays there, but if you differ, it is played this way. If it is your window and you placed it in Arena, while your partner chose unknown, then it belongs in Façade. If you chose Unknown while your partner chose Arena then it belongs in Blind Spot. The more words in a quadrant, the larger the quadrant is etc. Here are your 55 words:.
After, try playing Nohari Window, same rules, but these are negative adjectives. Of course, honesty while playing is necessary to get accurate results.