The Johari Window Model, a Tool for Federal Agency Teams

While leaders and managers have access to many resources, tools, and models to help them connect to their teams, the Johari Window model is one of the most widely known. Since 1955, this model has helped people gain greater self-awareness, build trust and empathy, and enhance communication and cooperation among team members. It is simple and can be applied in a variety of situations and environments. Let’s take a look at what it represents.

The model illustration resembles a windowpane: a square with four quadrants, each representing one type of awareness.

  • OpenThe upper left quadrant represents qualities known to self and others, such as facts, skills, talents, attitudes, behavior, motivation, values, and ways of life.
  • BlindThe upper right quadrant represents qualities that are not known to self but are known to others, such as hidden strengths or character flaws.
  • HiddenThe lower left quadrant represents qualities that are known to self but not meant to be known to others unless we disclose them, such as prior expertise, ambitions, and personal points of view, as well as embarrassment, shame, fears, and secrets.
  • UnknownThe lower right quadrant represents qualities that are not known to self and are also unknown to others, and it represents a part of our unconscious rather than our conscious self.

When the open quadrant expands, people learn about themselves and others so that they can build trust and deep relationships. The more they know about each other, the more productive, cooperative, and effective people will be when working together.

Related Tools and Training

What tools do you use to improve communication between and among your teams? What roles do self-awareness and emotional intelligence play in your team or agency?

Many of the participants in our Leadership and Management Skills for Non-Managers course found it useful to learn how they might use the Johari Window model and other tools as federal government employees.

If you would like to know more about leadership, you may be interested in courses related to Leadership and Management Skills for Non-Managers and the recommended follow-on courses: Leadership Skills And TechniquesCritical Thinking For Problem Solving, and Interpersonal Skills: Developing Effective Relationships.

Leadership & Management
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Natalie Komitsky

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