The New Johari Window #22: Quadrant Two: The Locus of Control

The New Johari Window #22: Quadrant Two: The Locus of Control

The second factor concerns the amount of information and level of complexity of the information I receive on a daily basis. I feel overwhelmed. I am already unfrozen (to borrow from Kurt Lewin’s model of change) and do not need any new information to convince me that I am living in a challenging world. Czikzentmihali would suggest that we live in a (postmodern) world that is filled with anxiety, rather than in a world of boredom. I need more support to match the challenge. I don’t need the additional challenge of new feedback—especially if I think it might be negative in nature.

The third factor concerns the wisdom of our defenses. “I don’t want to know because I am not yet ready to handle what you have to tell me.” People whom we perceive to be very wise and insightful may be greatly appreciated and admired; however, we may be hesitant to encourage their Q2 feedback, given the other challenges in our postmodern life and given our need to move one step at a time in gaining access to our unknown self (Quad Two and Quad Four). We believe they are very bright and insightful—and fear their knowledge of us. We trust these people—especially their competence—but don’t trust our ability to handle their feedback. The question becomes: “when am I ready to know?” There is a second related question that is strategic in nature: “How do I retain the commitment of this person to provide me with the feedback, so that it is forthcoming when I ask for it?”

The fourth factor concerns status differences between the giver and receiver of the feedback. I feel intimidated and therefore do not what to receive feedback from the other person. This person has power over me. My acceptance or rejection of their feedback has implications for me—it is not neutral. They directly or indirectly request modification of my current behavior. They want me to do less of what I usually do, stop doing what I usually do, do more of what I usually do, do something other than what I usually do. This is not just feedback for information, it is feedback for compliance—that’s why it is often not wanted.


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William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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