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

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

The third form of mistrust concerns perspectives. We assume that other people come from different worlds—therefore they are likely to misperceive us and our behaviors and intentions. We detect minor differences and insert a psychological wedge between ourselves and those who wish to give us feedback. We retreat to our enclave, ignore feedback from people who are “different from ourselves” and stagnate. The rich insights that other people can offer us about ourselves—that help liberate Quad Four as well as Quad Two—are lost. We have surrendered to our fears and have forfeited control over the feedback that we can choose to receive from other people at the right time and place.

Q2-E: The Ignorant Self

As in the case of Quad One, Quad Two is best understood when both an internal and external perspective on this interpersonal quadrant are taken into consideration. There are not only dynamics operating inside oneself that influence Quad Two, dynamic factors outside oneself can also influence the extent to which information about oneself is blocked. This external blocking can occur because the person in question is protected by other people.

People in power, for instance, are often protected by their staff from receiving feedback from other people. This blocking of feedback may occur because the staff member doesn’t want to be “killed” as the deliverer of disturbing feedback. Feedback might also be blocked because people around us believe that we don’t need more “bad news” or because they believe that the feedback is neither accurate nor fair. An even more pernicious dynamic is often in operation when we consider the flow of feedback upward and downward in an organization. Administrators at the top of an organization often agree with those at the bottom of the organization; however, communication is filtered through mid-level managers who frequently view their organization differently from either those at the top or those at the bottom of their organization.


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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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