The Johari Window for Team Development


In this article “The Johari Window for Team Development”, we are discussing about team development with the use of ‘The Johari Window’. ‘The Johari window’ model was developed by American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1950’s. Combining first letters of their names Jo and Hari, it is called as Johari. This model is also called as disclosure/feedback model. Before going for the topic of team development, we will just look into the four quadrants of The Johari Window from the figure.

The Johari Window for Team Development

The Johari Window model talks about two sides of observation ‘self’ and ‘others’. Here ‘self’ refers to person inside the team subjects to The Johari Window analysis. The term ‘others’ refers to other people in the team or group or related to the person. So all the information related to the analysis are observed on two sides ‘self’ and ‘others’.

Here we are going to discuss about four quadrants:

1.      Open Area/Free Area

This is an area represents what is known by the person about him/herself and also by other team members. For a new member this area will be very small and for an experienced team member this area will be bigger.

In newly formed teams the free area for any team member is small because each person in the team will be unknown to each other. Area of this quadrant will increase as the team gets older.

If free area is more in a team, the team will be more productive and effective as the interaction between the members is more. More this area means more the communication and cooperation and less will be confusion, conflict and misunderstanding among the members of the team. Thus the aim in any team is to develop the free area for every person.

If a new member added to an existing group, the free area of the new member will be relatively less. It is the responsibility of the other team members and the leader to increase the area of the new member with proper methods. The new member himself can also increase this area by sharing his feeling, information etc. with other members of the team. This can also be increased by getting feedback from team members.

2.      Blind Area

This area represents what is unknown by the person about him/herself but other team members know.

This area tells something about self-awareness. This area may be more if other team members deliberately withholding information from the person. Thus this area of a member can be increased by seeking or soliciting feedback from other team members.

More is this area less will be the productivity of the group. More the communication and interpersonal relationship among the team members less will be the blind area. For a new member or a member in new team this area will be small as others don’t know about the new member.

Managers can reduce the blind area by increasing feedback and communication among members.

3.      Hidden Area

This area represents what the person knows about him/herself that others do not know. This area for a person will be more if he/she is having hidden agenda, fears etc. This area can be reduced by increasing proper communication and process of self disclosure.

For a team, the culture and working atmosphere have a major influence on reducing this area. Managers can make certain programs or assignments through which the member will disclose his/her information to others.

For a new member or a member in a new team this area will be large as team members do not know each other.

4.      Unknown Area

This area represents what is unknown by the person about him/herself and is also unknown by others. Collective efforts of self and other team members are needed to reduce this area.

A team effort including all members and leaders is important here. Some programs or new assignments can be benefited here in reducing this area.

So a self discovery and discovery by a team member about a member reduces the unknown area.

For a new member or a member in a new team this area will be large as the member lacks in self-knowledge and other members are also not know each other.


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