I happened to know about this concept in one of the workshops conducted in my company and found it very intersting. It’s a nice way of seeing your behaviour pattern or the way people look at any event and the improvement areas if any. We have X and Y axis, X being the things that you know about yourself and Y being the things that other know about yourself. So basically devide this area into four quadrants. The first quarant is called open area, and signifies the things that you as well as other know about yourself. The second qudrant above this quadrant is the Hidden area, relating to the things that you know about self, but other do not know about yourself. The third quadrant is the blind area and signifies the things that others know about you ,but not you. Obviously the last quadrant is for things which both you and others are unaware about yourself and is called as unknown area.
This concept works quite well in the dynamism of corporate atmosphere as people get so task oriented that they give very less importance to people and their attitudes, perceptions, comforts etc. Johari Windows helps one to reflect on his image as a team member, the right or wrong approch to the problems, learning from the experiences of others. The goal should be to increase your open area and most of the self motivated and succesful people achieve this.
Self-disclosure is the techinque used to let people know more about you. Unless and until you tell your boss that you are more interested in design and architectural activities, he woudn’t know it. Unless and until you tell your team that you have to do baby sitting on fridays, they woudn’t know why you work from home on that day.
Feedback is the technique used to understand how people look at you. It’s the way you understand the features of your personality which others are aware of, but you aren’t. People migth have seen you doing a very good job as a motivator and probably you might not be aware of this skill of yours. On the contrary you minght be under impression that you have been quite impartial as a leader, but the team members might not align with this thought.
Sometimes you are forced to do a certain thing or you just happen to do it in emergency and to your surpise you discover that there was this huge talent of yours, which was never exploited. You go abroad, without your family, have never gone into the kitchen and then due to need of the hour, are forced to cook. Slowly you discover that its quite interesting and you develop a liking for it. On top of all this, you start getting feedback that you are an excellent cook. Now this is what is called as stumbing upon the unkown accidently or a self discovery.
This concept can be equally helpful in our family life. Woudn’t it be ineresting to understand how good you are doing as a son,as a husband or as a father, in fact as a neighbour, as a friend or even as an employer. Keeping your ears open for such feedbacks (through remarks,discontent,rage,appreciation) and developing a right chemistry in your relations helps a lot. You can’t treat everyone the same way, as every person has his/her own requirement.
Keeping your family in sync with your professional life and getting thier opinions is also a helpful exercise. Its all about collaboration at all levels. You can’t grow as a family, unless and untill there is enough of interaction and sharing of information. You can imagine the kind of ineraction level that we can have, if everyone being is aware of the importance of these concepts and take concious efforts to apply it. Its almost a new way of looking at life.
Our mind sometimes can’t think of the obvious and simple solutions due to the substantial amount of mental clutter in our mind. While children can. I found found it always quite useful to talk about some of my incidences, experinces and problems with my 7 year old daughter and the reactions, that she comes up with are always interesting. Its not always necessary that you would get solution to your problem in such interactions, but helps you think differently, helps you remove the stress and clear up your mind.
Starting working on your open area from now on and you will find things falling in place for you, all of a sudden. This does give you lot of scope for self-discovery as well as to understanding how people look at you.