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The New Johari Window #27: Quadrant Three: The Locus of Control

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For those of us who are not very influential or skillful as proactive communicators, the alternative is reactive communication. We await the disclosures or requests from the other person and then decide how we want to respond to the discloser—o if and how we want to fulfill their requests. This is where Quad Two and Quad Three so closely interact. Someone (I’ll call this person, “Sam”) wants me to share something about myself (Quad Three): “So, tell me how you’re doing. How do you like this conference? Have you met anyone who is very interesting?”

I don’t know Sam very well, having bumped into him at a session of the conference and having gone out with Sam (and six other conference attendees) for lunch after the session. I find Sam to be a bit of a bore. He dominated the luncheon conversation, didn’t seem to be listening to what other people said at the luncheon, and missed the point being made by the speaker at the session we both attended. So now I have the misfortune of bumping into Sam after another conference session.

He asks me to disclose something about myself (“How are you doing . . . How do you like . . . ?”). How much do I tell him? I don’t think he will really listen, and, frankly, I have little interest in establishing a relationship with Sam. Even more importantly, how much of my Quad Two information about Sam do I share with him? This is the interesting and difficult part about the Quad Two and Quad Three interdependence.

Some of what I have to share in my third quad is information about Sam that probably exists in his second quad (opaque/blind self). Do I let Sam know that: (1) he is not one of the interesting people I have met at this conference, (2) he is actually disrupting my enjoyment of the conference and/or (3) I find him to be an insensitive, dominating boor! If I shared any or all of this information with Sam, his Quad Two would certainly shrink (perhaps at the cost of some psychic pain). We might diagram what would occur in the following way:

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