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johari window

Ingham and Luft's Johari Window model diagrams

and examples - for self-awareness, personal
development, group development and
understanding relationships
The Johari Window model is a simple and useful tool for illustrating and
improving self-awareness, and mutual understanding between individuals within
a group. The Johari Window model can also be used to assess and improve a
group's relationship with other groups. The Johari Window model was devised by
American psychologists Joseph Luft and arry !ngham in "#$$, while
researching group dynamics at the %niversity of &alifornia Los Angeles. The
model was first published in the 'roceedings of the Western Training Laboratory
in (roup )evelopment by %&LA *+tension ,ffice in "#$$, and was later
e+panded by Joseph Luft. Today the Johari Window model is especially relevant
due to modern emphasis on, and influence of, 'soft' s-ills, behaviour, empathy,
cooperation, inter-group development and interpersonal development.
,ver the years, alternative Johari Window terminology has been developed and
adapted by other people - particularly leading to different descriptions of the four
regions, hence the use of different terms in this e+planation. )on't let it all
confuse you - the Johari Window model is really very simple indeed.
free johari window model diagram (pdf -
free johari window model diagram (pdf - portrait)
.The Johari Window diagram is also available in /0Word format from the free
resources section.1
Luft and !ngham called their Johari Window model 'Johari' after combining their
first names, Joe and arry. !n early publications the word appears as 'Joari'.
The Johari Window soon became a widely used model for understanding and
training self-awareness, personal development, improving communications,
interpersonal relationships, group dynamics, team development and inter-group
The Johari Window model is also referred to as a 'disclosure2feedbac- model of
self awareness', and by some people an 'information processing tool'. The Johari
Window actually represents information - feelings, e+perience, views, attitudes,
s-ills, intentions, motivation, etc - within or about a person - in relation to their
group, from four perspectives, which are described below. The Johari Window
model can also be used to represent the same information for a group in relation
to other groups. Johari Window terminology refers to 'self' and 'others'3 'self'
means oneself, ie, the person sub4ect to the Johari Window analysis. ',thers'
means other people in the person's group or team.
5.6. When the Johari Window model is used to assess and develop groups in
relation to other groups, the 'self' would be the group, and 'others' would be other
groups. owever, for ease of e+planation and understanding of the Johari
Window and e+amples in this article, thin- of the model applying to an individual
within a group, rather than a group relating to other groups.
The four Johari Window perspectives are called 'regions' or 'areas' or '7uadrants'.
*ach of these regions contains and represents the information - feelings,
motivation, etc - -nown about the person, in terms of whether the information is
-nown or un-nown by the person, and whether the information is -nown or
un-nown by others in the group.
The Johari Window's four regions, .areas, 7uadrants, or perspectives1 are as
follows, showing the 7uadrant numbers and commonly used names3
johari window four regions
". what is -nown by the person about him2herself and is also -nown by
others - open area, open self, free area, free self, or 'the arena'
8. what is un-nown by the person about him2herself but which others -now -
lind area, lind self, or 'lindspot'
9. what the person -nows about him2herself that others do not -now -
hidden area, hidden self, avoided area, avoided self or 'facade'
:. what is un-nown by the person about him2herself and is also un-nown by
others - un!nown area or un!nown self

johari window four regions - model diagram
Li-e some other behavioural models .eg, Tuc-man, ersey26lanchard1, the
Johari Window is based on a four-s7uare grid - the Johari Window is li-e a
window with four 'panes'. ere's how the Johari Window is normally shown, with
its four regions.

This is the standard
representation of
the Johari Window
model, showing
each 7uadrant the
same si;e.
The Johari Window
'panes' can be
changed in si;e to
reflect the relevant
proportions of each
type of '-nowledge'
of2about a particular
person in a given
group or team
!n new groups or
teams the open free
space for any team
member is small
.see the Johari
Window new team
member e+ample
below1 because
shared awareness
is relatively small.
As the team
member becomes
better established
and -nown, so the
si;e of the team
member's open free
area 7uadrant
increases. 0ee the
Johari Window
established team
member e+ample

johari window model - explanation of the four
<efer to the free detailed Johari Window model diagram in the free resources
section - print a copy and it will help you to understand what follows.

johari "uadrant # - 'open self$area' or 'free area' or
'pulic area', or 'arena'
Johari region " is also -nown as the 'area of free activity'. This is the information
about the person - behaviour, attitude, feelings, emotion, -nowledge, e+perience,
s-ills, views, etc - !nown by the person .'the self'1 and !nown by the group
%he aim in an& group should alwa&s e to develop the 'open area' for ever&
person, ecause when we wor! in this area with others we are at our most
effective and productive, and the group is at its most productive too' %he
open free area, or 'the arena', can e seen as the space where good
communications and cooperation occur, free from distractions, mistrust,
confusion, conflict and misunderstanding'
*stablished team members logically tend to have larger open areas than new
team members. 5ew team members start with relatively small open areas
because relatively little -nowledge about the new team member is shared. The
si;e of the open area can be e+panded hori;ontally into the blind space, by
see-ing and actively listening to feedbac- from other group members. This
process is -nown as 'feedbac- solicitation'. Also, other group members can help
a team member e+pand their open area by offering feedbac-, sensitively of
course. The si;e of the open area can also be e+panded vertically downwards
into the hidden or avoided space by the person's disclosure of information,
feelings, etc about him2herself to the group and group members. Also, group
members can help a person e+pand their open area into the hidden area by
as-ing the person about him2herself. /anagers and team leaders can play an
important role in facilitating feedbac- and disclosure among group members, and
in directly giving feedbac- to individuals about their own blind areas. Leaders
also have a big responsibility to promote a culture and e+pectation for open,
honest, positive, helpful, constructive, sensitive communications, and the sharing
of -nowledge throughout their organi;ation. Top performing groups, departments,
companies and organi;ations always tend to have a culture of open positive
communication, so encouraging the positive development of the 'open area' or
'open self' for everyone is a simple yet fundamental aspect of effective
johari "uadrant ( - 'lind self' or 'lind area' or
Johari region 8 is what is !nown about a person by others in the group, but is
un!nown by the person him2herself. 6y see-ing or soliciting feedbac- from
others, the aim should be to reduce this area and thereby to increase the open
area .see the Johari Window diagram below1, ie, to increase self-awareness.
This blind area is not an effective or productive space for individuals or groups.
This blind area could also be referred to as ignorance about oneself, or issues in
which one is deluded. A blind area could also include issues that others are
deliberately withholding from a person. We all -now how difficult it is to wor- well
when -ept in the dar-. 5o-one wor-s well when sub4ect to 'mushroom
management'. 'eople who are 'thic--s-inned' tend to have a large 'blind area'.
(roup members and managers can ta-e some responsibility for helping an
individual to reduce their blind area - in turn increasing the open area - by giving
sensitive feedbac- and encouraging disclosure. /anagers should promote a
climate of non-4udgemental feedbac-, and group response to individual
disclosure, which reduces fear and therefore encourages both processes to
happen. The e+tent to which an individual see-s feedbac-, and the issues on
which feedbac- is sought, must always be at the individual's own discretion.
0ome people are more resilient than others - care needs to be ta-en to avoid
causing emotional upset. The process of soliciting serious and deep feedbac-
relates to the process of 'self-actuali;ation' described in /aslow's ierarchy of
5eeds development and motivation model.
johari "uadrant ) - 'hidden self' or 'hidden area' or
'avoided self$area' or 'facade'
Johari region 9 is what is !nown to ourselves but -ept hidden from, and
therefore un!nown, to others. This hidden or avoided self represents
information, feelings, etc, anything that a person -nows about him2self, but which
is not revealed or is -ept hidden from others. The hidden area could also include
sensitivities, fears, hidden agendas, manipulative intentions, secrets - anything
that a person -nows but does not reveal, for whatever reason. !t's natural for very
personal and private information and feelings to remain hidden, indeed, certain
information, feelings and e+periences have no bearing on wor-, and so can and
should remain hidden. owever, typically, a lot of hidden information is not very
personal, it is wor-- or performance-related, and so is better positioned in the
open area.
<elevant hidden information and feelings, etc, should be moved into the open
area through the process of 'disclosure'. The aim should be to disclose and
e+pose relevant information and feelings - hence the Johari Window terminology
'self-disclosure' and 'e+posure process', thereby increasing the open area. 6y
telling others how we feel and other information about ourselves we reduce the
hidden area, and increase the open area, which enables better understanding,
cooperation, trust, team-wor-ing effectiveness and productivity. <educing hidden
areas also reduces the potential for confusion, misunderstanding, poor
communication, etc, which all distract from and undermine team effectiveness.
,rgani;ational culture and wor-ing atmosphere have a ma4or influence on group
members' preparedness to disclose their hidden selves. /ost people fear
4udgement or vulnerability and therefore hold bac- hidden information and
feelings, etc, that if moved into the open area, ie -nown by the group as well,
would enhance mutual understanding, and thereby improve group awareness,
enabling better individual performance and group effectiveness.
The e+tent to which an individual discloses personal feelings and information,
and the issues which are disclosed, and to whom, must always be at the
individual's own discretion. 0ome people are more -een and able than others to
disclose. 'eople should disclose at a pace and depth that they find personally
comfortable. As with feedbac-, some people are more resilient than others - care
needs to be ta-en to avoid causing emotional upset. Also as with soliciting
feedbac-, the process of serious disclosure relates to the process of 'self-
actuali;ation' described in /aslow's ierarchy of 5eeds development and
motivation model.
johari "uadrant * - 'un!nown self' or 'area of
un!nown activit&' or 'un!nown area'
Johari region : contains information, feelings, latent abilities, aptitudes,
e+periences etc, that are un!nown to the person him2herself and un!nown to
others in the group. These un-nown issues ta-e a variety of forms3 they can be
feelings, behaviours, attitudes, capabilities, aptitudes, which can be 7uite close to
the surface, and which can be positive and useful, or they can be deeper aspects
of a person's personality, influencing his2her behaviour to various degrees. Large
un-nown areas would typically be e+pected in younger people, and people who
lac- e+perience or self-belief.
*+amples of un-nown factors are as follows, and the first e+ample is particularly
relevant and common, especially in typical organi;ations and teams3
an ability that is under-estimated or un-tried through lac- of opportunity,
encouragement, confidence or training
a natural ability or aptitude that a person doesn't realise they possess
a fear or aversion that a person does not -now they have
an un-nown illness
repressed or subconscious feelings
conditioned behaviour or attitudes from childhood
The processes by which this information and -nowledge can be uncovered are
various, and can be prompted through self-discovery or observation by others, or
in certain situations through collective or mutual discovery, of the sort of
discovery e+perienced on outward bound courses or other deep or intensive
group wor-. &ounselling can also uncover un-nown issues, but this would then
be -nown to the person and by one other, rather than by a group.
Whether un-nown 'discovered' -nowledge moves into the hidden, blind or open
area depends on who discovers it and what they do with the -nowledge, notably
whether it is then given as feedbac-, or disclosed. As with the processes of
soliciting feedbac- and disclosure, striving to discover information and feelings in
the un-nown is relates to the process of 'self-actuali;ation' described in /aslow's
ierarchy of 5eeds development and motivation model.
Again as with disclosure and soliciting feedbac-, the process of self discovery is
a sensitive one. The e+tent and depth to which an individual is able to see- out
discover their un-nown feelings must always be at the individual's own discretion.
0ome people are more -een and able than others to do this.
%ncovering 'hidden talents' - that is un-nown aptitudes and s-ills, not to be
confused with developing the Johari 'hidden area' - is another aspect of
developing the un-nown area, and is not so sensitive as un-nown feelings.
'roviding people with the opportunity to try new things, with no great pressure to
succeed, is often a useful way to discover un-nown abilities, and thereby reduce
the un-nown area.
/anagers and leaders can help by creating an environment that encourages self-
discovery, and to promote the processes of self discovery, constructive
observation and feedbac- among team members. !t is a widely accepted
industrial fact that the ma4ority of staff in any organi;ation are at any time wor-ing
well within their potential. &reating a culture, climate and e+pectation for self-
discovery helps people to fulfil more of their potential and thereby to achieve
more, and to contribute more to organi;ational performance.
A note of caution about Johari region :3 The un-nown area could also include
repressed or subconscious feelings rooted in formative events and traumatic past
e+periences, which can stay un-nown for a lifetime. !n a wor- or organi;ational
conte+t the Johari Window should not be used to address issues of a clinical
nature. %seful references are Arthur Janov's seminal boo- The 'rimal 0cream
.read about the boo- here1, and Transactional Analysis.

johari window example - increasing open area
through feedac! solicitation

This Johari Window
model diagram is an
e+ample of
increasing the open
area , by reduction
of the blind area,
which would
normally be
achieved through
the process of
as-ing for and then
receiving feedbac-.
=eedbac- develops
the open area by
reducing the blind
The open area can
also be developed
through the process
of disclosure, which
reduces the hidden
The un-nown area
can be reduced in
different ways3 by
others' observation
.which increases
the blind area1> by
.which increases
the hidden area1, or
by mutual
enlightenment -
typically via group
e+periences and
discussion - which
increases the open
area as the
un-nown area

A team which understands itself - that is, each person having a strong mutual
understanding with the team - is far more effective than a team which does not
understand each other- that is, whose members have large hidden, blind, and2or
un-nown areas.
Team members - and leaders - should always be striving to increase their open
free areas, and to reduce their blind, hidden and un-nown areas.
A person represented by the Johari Window e+ample below will not perform to
their best potential, and the team will fail to ma-e full use of the team's potential
and the person's potential too. *ffort should generally be made by the person to
increase his2her open free area, by disclosing information about his2her feelings,
e+perience, views, motivation, etc, which will reduce the si;e of the hidden area,
and increase the open free area.
0ee-ing feedbac- about the blind area will reduce the blind area, and will
increase the open free area. )iscovery through sensitive communications, active
listening and e+perience, will reduce the un-nown area, transferring in part to the
blind, hidden areas, depending on who -nows what, or better still if -nown by the
person and others, to the open free area.

johari window model - example for new team
memer or memer within a new team

This Johari Window
model diagram is
an e+ample of a
member of a new
team or a person
who is new to an
e+isting team.
The open free
region is small
because others
-now little about the
new person.
0imilarly the blind
area is small
because others
-now little about the
new person.
The hidden or
avoided issues and
feelings are a
relatively large
!n this particular
e+ample the
un-nown area is
the largest, which
might be because
the person is
young, or lac-ing in
self--nowledge or

johari window example - estalished team
memer example

This Johari Window
model diagram is
an e+ample of an
member of a team.
The open free
region is large
because others
-now a lot about the
person that the
person also -nows.
Through the
processes of
disclosure and
receiving feedbac-
the open area has
e+panded and at
the same time
reduced the si;es of
the hidden, blind
and un-nown

!t's helpful to compare the Johari Window model to other four-7uadrant
behavioural models, notably 6ruce Tuc-man's =orming, 0torming 5orming
'erforming team development model> also to a lesser but nonetheless interesting
e+tent, The ersey-6lanchard 0ituational Leadership team development and
management styles model .0ee both here1. The common principle is that as the
team matures and communications improve, so performance improves too, as
less energy is spent on internal issues and clarifying understanding, and more
effort is devoted to e+ternal aims and productive output.
The Johari Window model also relates to emotional intelligence theory .*?1, and
one's awareness and development of emotional intelligence.
As already stated, the Johari Window relates also to Transactional Analysis
.notably understanding deeper aspects of the 'un-nown' area, region :1.
The Johari Window processes of serious feedbac- solicitation, disclosure, and
striving to uncover one's un-nown area relate to /aslow's 'self-actuali;ation'
ideas contained in the ierarchy of 5eeds.
There are several e+ercises and activities for Johari Window awareness
development among teams featured on the team building games section, for
e+ample the ring tones activity.

exploring more ideas for using ingham and luft's
johari window model in training, learning and
The e+amples of e+ercises using the Johari Window theory on this website which
might begin to open possibilities for you. The Johari Window obviously model
provides useful bac-ground rationale and 4ustification for most things that you
might thin- to do with people relating to developing mutual and self-awareness,
all of which lin-s strongly to team effectiveness and harmony.
There are many ways to use the Johari model in learning and development -
much as using any other theory such as /aslow's, Tuc-man's, TA, 5L', etc. !t
very much depends on what you want to achieve, rather than approaching the
sub4ect from 'what are all the possible uses@' which would be a ma4or
This being the case, it might help you to as- yourself first what you want to
achieve in your training and development activities@ And what are your intended
outputs and how will you measure that they have been achieved@ And then thin-
about how the Johari Window theory and principles can be used to assist this.
<esearching academic papers .most typically published on university and
learning institutions websites1 written about theories such as Johari is a fertile
method of e+ploring possibilities for concepts and models li-e Johari. This
approach tends to improve your in-depth understanding, instead of simply using
specific interpretations or applications 'off-the-shelf', which in themselves might
provide good ideas for a one-off session, but don't help you much with
understanding how to use the thin-ing at a deeper level.
Also e+plore the original wor- of !ngham and Luft, and reviews of same, relating
to the development and applications of the model.
Johari is a very elegant and potent model, and as with other powerful ideas,
simpl& helping people to understand is the most effective way to optimise the
value to people. *+plaining the meaning of the Johari Window theory to people,
so they can really properly understand it in their own terms, then empowers
people to use the thin-ing in their own way, and to incorporate the underlying
principles into their future thin-ing and behaviour.

<elevant reading, .if you can find copies13
'(roup 'rocesses - An !ntroduction to (roup )ynamics' by Joseph Luft, first
published in "#A9> and
',f uman !nteraction3 The Johari /odel' by Joseph Luft, first published in "#A#.
!n the boo-s Joseph Luft e+plains that Johari is pronounced as if it were Joe and
arry, and that is '...4ust what the word means'. e e+plains also that the Johari
model was developed by him and arrington B !ngham /) in "#$$ during a
summer laboratory session, and that the model was published in the
'roceedings of the Western Training Laboratory in (roup )evelopment for that
year by the %&LA .%niversity of &alifornia Los Angeles1 *+tension ,ffice.