The New Johari Window #16. Quadrant One, External Locus of Control and the Movement Between an External and Internal Locus
Given this pull toward an external locus of control, it becomes clear that Quad One may be a very tenuous space in which to operate. I am vulnerable to external forces and my Quad One behavior (as well as the impact of this behavior) may be out of my hands. In Johari terms, my Quad Two (which is in the heads and heart of other people) and Quad Four (which is not under the conscious control of anyone) seem to be very powerful—perhaps overwhelming. This assumption of power might be accurate. It is at least a self-fulfilling assumption, since I am likely to assign power to these two quadrants, even when the power isn’t originally there. This is especially the case if I feel insecure regarding my presentation of self (Quad One) to the world.
From Hunting to Growing to Producing (Redux)
We can probe even deeper into the etiology of conformity and community. In doing so, we discover the strength of this external orientation—and move beyond mere nostalgia and pathological conformity. To find this strength, we return to Diamond’s analysis of the Western world’s origins in an Agrarian environment. As I noted above, agriculture (according to Diamond) enables (and often requires) the formation of community. Hunter-gatherer societies could not grow very large (given the limited natural resources available to any one location and the need to keep moving). By contrast, agriculturally-based societies could grow larger (greater food production being possible with domesticated plants and animals). Communities were formed and formal governance systems were established to manage these larger populations.
Today, we are even more in need of community and governance, as our capacity to produce food and feed members of our society becomes even greater. Furthermore, there is an even greater need for conformity to certain laws, values and procedures as we move in the 21st Century to what Thomas Friedman calls the “flat world” of global communication, exchange and interdependency. Thus, while we live in a society that values individuality, we also live in a global village that requires collaboration, some conformity (at the very least, a sense of collective responsibility), and, above all, a commitment to community.