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Johari Window



The Johari Window model is a simple and useful tool for improving self-awareness of individuals within groups - and of groups within the wider context in which they operate.


It was devised by American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955, while researching group dynamics at the University of California, Los Angeles.  The name Johari derives from their first names - and the window part of the title from the four-quadrant shape of the diagram employed.


The Johari Window is widely used for assisting individuals to develop self awareness and improve personal development.  Used by teams, it can assist them with improving communications, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics and inter-group relationships.


  What the individual knows What the individual does not know  

What is


by others




OPEN (Public arena)


What the individual knows about themselves - and is also known by others.





BLIND AREA (Blind spot)


What the individual does not know about themselves but which others know.



What is

not known

by others





HIDDEN (Private space)


What the individual knows about themselves that others do not know.







What is unknown by the individual and also unknown by others.




NOTE: The above may apply to groups as well as to individuals.

NOTE: The names given to the quadrants may vary slightly in different literature.

 NOTE: The colours used here are merely illustrative and not part of the original diagram.



In order to facilitate completion of the Window – some trainers or facilitators may use a list of (56) adjectives describing personality characteristics – from which an individual selects those they consider appropriate for inclusion in the left-hand side of the window.


Peers or colleagues then select from the same list those characteristics they believe apply to the individual.  These can be inserted into the upper half of the window. (Obviously, adjectives selected by the individual AND their colleagues belong in the OPEN area.)


  • able

  • accepting

  • adaptable

  • bold

  • brave

  • calm

  • caring

  • cheerful

  • clever

  • complex

  • confident

  • dependable

  • dignified

  • energetic

  • extroverted

  • friendly

  • giving

  • happy

  • helpful

  • idealistic

  • independent

  • ingenious

  • intelligent

  • introverted

  • kind

  • knowledgeable

  • logical

  • loving

  • mature

  • modest

  • nervous

  • observant

  • organized

  • patient

  • powerful

  • proud

  • quiet

  • reflective

  • relaxed

  • religious

  • responsive

  • searching

  • self-assertive

  • self-conscious

  • sensible

  • sentimental

  • shy

  • silly

  • smart

  • spontaneous

  • sympathetic

  • tense

  • trustworthy

  • warm

  • wise

  • witty





The Johari window can be used as a self assessment tool to increase individuals’ understanding of themselves. This may be an exploration of the skills they possess – or their personal and professional characteristics.


As an aid to personal and professional development, the Johari Window encourages reflection – enabling individuals and teams to consider strengths and weaknesses not only from their own point of view but from their managers’, colleagues’ and customers’ perspectives.


As well as being used by individuals, the Johari Window can be applied by a group to identify team skills and characteristics.





By its very nature, if we are to make the most of the Johari Window model, it needs to be used within the context of a group or team.  There may be some drawbacks to using the Johari Window in this way if its use is not wisely facilitated.


Firstly, no-one should feel obliged to reveal anything about themselves that they do not feel comfortable sharing.  Although we may be led to believe that self-disclosure is healthy and can lead to increased trust within a group, inappropriate self-disclosure has its dangers.  We are often better off not telling others about our innermost personal secrets (or our professional disasters!)  By providing others with information about yourself, you give them power over you.  A certain amount of disclosure helps to build trust but disclosing information which could damage your colleagues’ respect for you can put you in a position of weakness.


A wise facilitator will ensure that the level of disclosure is matched to the level of trust that has been established within the group.


Furthermore, when encouraging feedback from others, it is important to establish a positive group ethos and to gauge the level of people’s sensitivity.  Whereas it can be a great motivator to learn of other people’s positive perceptions of yourself, discovery of the weaknesses they perceive can have equally negative effects, especially where there is a mismatch between your own view and the view of others.  That is not to say that weaknesses are not to be explored but this should be done with sensitivity.




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