Teams work best together when the individuals trust each other, but building trust can be difficult. The Johari Window model is a tool you and another party can use to share information about yourselves in order to build stronger, more trusting relationships.
Skill development web site Mind Tools suggests using the Johari Window for sharing personal information with others and as a tool for self-discovery. The model is a simple square, broken up into four quadrants:
- The upper left quadrant is the Open Area, and represents the information about yourself that you and the other party knows.
- The upper right quadrant is the Blind Area, and represents the information you don’t know about yourself that others might know.
- The lower left quadrant is the Hidden Area, and represents the information you know, but the other party does not.
- And the last quadrant, in the lower right of the square, is the Unknown Area, and represents the information that nobody knows.
The goal is to maximise your communication potential, so you want the Open Area to be as big as possible — without disclosing information that’s too personal — by moving the perpendicular dividing line to the right and the horizontal dividing line down. Sharing information about yourself moves the horizontal line down, increasing the Open Area. Getting honest feedback from others lets you learn about yourself and moves the perpendicular line to the right, again increasing the Open Area.
By increasing you and your team’s Open Area, you can become more productive, cooperative and trusting. When you really know who you’re working with, it’s easier to know how to take on certain tasks together. Trust can be built in any kind of relationship with this model too. If you and your significant other increase your own Open Areas together, it can be easier to communicate with each other and handle any kind of situation.
For more detailed information about the Johari Window model and how to use it, check the link below.
The Johari Window [Mind Tools]