The New Johari Window #23: Quadrant Two: Interpersonal Needs
We indirectly express this reactive need by identifying concerns but looking to other people for solutions to these concerns, by sitting back (rather than volunteering to engage in) a specific task or by offering many questions but few answers. This reactive stance may help to encourage other people to exhibit their own leadership strategies and to fulfill their own need for proactive control, and may build ownership on the part of other people for a specific solution or project.
This reactive strategy, however, can also produce frustration on the part of other people as they look to us to share responsibility and leadership. Given that we are not being explicit about our reactive (passive) need for someone else to take charge, we are quite vulnerable to stereotypes (e.g. women always want men to take charge). We are also vulnerable to projections. For example, another person with a strong proactive need for control may assume that we also want to take control and may assume that we are being coy or manipulative in getting the group to turn to us, eventually, for this control). Other untested assumptions about us may also reside in our second quadrant and the other person’s third quadrant. If we are not explicit then other people are free to write whatever they want about us on the blank slate that resides in our second quadrant.
What about if we have a low need for control? An important dynamic operates in Quad Two with regard to low need for control. When we remain passive, this may be because we simply don’t need much clarity or many accomplishments in this relationship or group. We can either explicitly state our low need for either proactive or reactive control, or we can sit back and let other people recognize our low need for control.