The Johari window is a technique designed to help people better understand their relationship with themselves and others.
In the exercise, someone picks a number of adjectives from a list, choosing ones they feel describe their own personality. The subject’s peers then get the same list, and each picks an equal number of adjectives that describe the subject. These adjectives are then inserted into a two-by-two grid of four cells.
Charles Handy calls this concept the Johari House with four rooms. Room one is the part of ourselves that we and others see. Room two contains aspects that others see but we are unaware of. Room three is the private space we know but hide from others. Room four is the unconscious part of us that neither ourselves nor others see.
The open area is that part of our conscious self – our attitudes, behavior, motivation, values, way of life – that we are aware of and that is known to others. We move within this area with freedom. We are “open books”.
Adjectives selected by the subject, but not by any of their peers, go in this quadrant. These are things the peers are either unaware of, or that are untrue but for the subject’s claim.
Adjectives not selected by subjects, but only by their peers go here. These represent what others perceive but the subject does not.
Adjectives that neither the subject nor the peers selected go here. They represent the subject’s behaviors or motives that no one participating recognizes – either because they do not apply or because of collective ignorance of these traits.
One therapeutic target may be the expansion of the Open (Arena) square at the expense of both the Unknown square and the Blind Spot square, resulting in greater knowledge of oneself, while voluntary disclosure of Private (Hidden or Facade) squares may result in greater interpersonal intimacy and friendship