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

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

Finally, there is the impact of the feedback on the relationship itself. When feedback comes from a “power-based” source, the relationship is likely to change—especially if the feedback is unusual or rarely given. I will be inclined to avoid the power-bases source in the future if the feedback is negative or be attracted to this source in the future if the feedback is positive. As many child psychologists have noted, when we punish children for “bad” behavior (provide them with power-based feedback of a negative character), then the child typically doesn’t quit doing the “bad” behavior.

Rather, the child learns to do this behavior when the punishing parent is not present. If many of the child’s behaviors are being punished, then the child learns to avoid the punishing parent all-together or learns to disregard (grows immune to) the punishment. This change in the relationship is stressful and often threatening for both parties; hence, feedback is likely to be avoided by both the person in power and the subordinate.

The fifth factor leading to our desire to avoid feedback from another person is based on our assessment of the other person’s intentions (one of the three forms of trust)—both the intentions of which we think the other person is aware (their Quad Two) and the intentions of which we think they are unaware (their Quad Four). We are particularly fearful that the other person holds contradictory intentions. On the one hand, they really want to give us the feedback because they think it will be of benefit to us: “You need to know because it will be good for you.” They may also think the feedback will enhance our relationship, by helping to building trust in intentions: “By telling you this, I know that you will respect me even more and will know that I will always be honest with you.”


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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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