Updated: Sep 24, 2020
The Johari Window: what powerful insights are you yet to discover about yourself?
We want to help you thrive. Beyond physical + mental wellbeing, you need a learning agility workout. What insights are you yet to discover, and what opportunities will they bring you?
Imagine a fulfilled or happy life and most people will speak of a life of meaning, belonging and achievement. To flourish, to have those needs met, you need to know yourself and what brings you a sense of purpose, belonging and achievement. If you are a leader or manager of people, you will be interested in their wellbeing, engagement, creativity, productivity and happiness. To optimise these important aspects of worklife, you need to understand how to create a sense of fulfilment for others.
Negotiating the Blue Zone & Purple Zone of Life + Work
Your life is complex. Each day you negotiate your way through the fog of cooperative and collaborative relationships. The more you live, the more you reveal previously unknown dimensions. The more life shows you, the more opportunities and challenges emerge. If the feeling of fulfilment brings a sense of Good Life, then are you happy leaving your happiness and wellbeing to luck? Imagine yourself on a ship travelling the world's oceans. You have a destination, but your horizon is continuously moving, revealing knowns and unknowns. Other ships, weather fronts, icebergs, pirates, mechanical failure, a refusal to allow you to dock, who knows what might happen. Like a ship's radar, you need to be continually pinging 360 degrees, surfacing challenges and opportunities and navigating a safe course through life and work. You are the radar in your life. There are two zones in your sea of knowledge: the blue and the purple. Let's explore these zones in the context of you managing a team.
In the blue zone, you are aware of what is out there.
Zone 1. There are things you know about yourself, and you know that members of your team know them too. For example, you know that your CEO likes emails to be succinct and bullet-pointed. This information is known to you and understood by your team. However, you need to stay alert to any changes. Zone 2. There are things you know that you don't know, but someone in your team does. For example, you take over a project involving a new department. You have never worked with this department before, and you are unsure of how they like to work. However, you know that one of your team has worked extensively with that department in the past. You need to act quickly to gain the knowledge from your team to make sure you get the new partnership off on the right foot.
In the purple zone, you are unaware of what is out there.
Zone 3. There are things unknown to you but known by others in your team. Take the example of working with a new department in Zone 2. What if you did not know that a member of your team had worked extensively with the department before? You could choose to run blind, but in the words of da Vinci, "blinding ignorance does mislead us". In this example, you need to use powerful questions to probe the environment and find out what people know that could help you. Zone 4. There are things unknown to you and unknown by others. You and your teams have areas of deep expertise, which makes you vulnerable to blind spots. These blind spots form when your brain creates 'automatic' short cuts in processes to conserve energy. You lose awareness of the steps in the process, and they become 'unknown' to you. You are not hiding the knowledge from others; you are unaware that you know it in the first place. You need to consider that this can happen and take the position of a novice, experiencing something for the first time, and be prepared to ask naive questions to help surface the knowledge. For your radar to work efficiently and effectively, you MUST be:
If you have trust and curiosity in abundance, you will discover insights that reveal a world filled with opportunities.
The Johari Window
The Johari Window is a powerful insight tool created by Luft & Ingham in 1955. It allows you to finetune your Insight Radar, but only if you are trusting, trustworthy and curious.
Consider yourself as a team leader who has been in the post for nine months and explore the four panes of the Johari Window. Pane 1. You and your team know that you can seem distant at times, where, for example, you have avoided team social events, which can bring people to question whether you have an unspoken agenda. Pane 2. You realise that this perception of being distant could impact your ability to lead the team; it could also impact individual wellbeing, where people may feel uncertain about whether to trust you. To help, you disclose that you are somewhat uncomfortable in social settings, where you see yourself as an introvert that tends to avoid crowds.
Pane 3. You don't know what impact your behaviour is having on your team, and the only way to find out is to solicit candid feedback. Pane 4. In pushing open the window - panes 2 and 3 - new opportunities are created through shared discovery. You might find that the team organises an event that better fits your needs. From your team's candid feedback, you realise that you need to appear more open, which brings you to discuss a challenge with a specific client that you had been keeping to yourself. Your conversation leads to a discovery that the husband of one of your team members works with the client and she is happy to set up a coffee-chat between the two of you to see how he might be able to help.
Trust, being trusting and trustworthy, and curiosity is vital to creating a Good Life + Good Work experience for you and those around you. It starts with knowing more about yourself, who you are, and what brings you a sense of meaning, belonging and achievement. To help your journey of discovery, we created the Good Life + Work Insight Space. This powerful space allows you to learn more about yourself and how you shape a Good Life + Good Work environment for others. The best part, it's FREE.