Home Interpersonal & Group Psychology Disclosure / Feedback The New Johari Window #29: Quadrant Three: The Three Schools of Thought

The New Johari Window #29: Quadrant Three: The Three Schools of Thought

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Implications and Applications: What to Do with Q3

As we draw together the various perspectives on Quad Three, several fundamental conclusions emerge with regard to the importance of Quad Three and ways in which to move Quad Three material into Quad One. I will focus on three of these fundamental conclusions: (1) the value of safe settings in which to “try out” disclosures, (2) the learning inherent in selecting what to disclose and (3) the unpredictability inherent in disclosure.

Safe Settings: “Try it out!”

First, it seems that safe settings are needed for constructive disclosure to occur. The American school has taught us this. The British school has taught us that we must be careful in selecting this safe setting—we must be sure that we are not getting caught in a collusion whereby we become the designated discloser in a relationship or group setting. Given this emphasis on safety, it is also clear (as identified by the American school) that disclosure can yield many benefits. Therefore, it is important to give disclosure a try.

We should try out the role of discloser– see how it feels and fits. We should float “trial balloons” – finding times and places where we can say to someone we trust: “What do you think would happen in setting X if I were to reveal Y?” Our colleague can not only be a witness to this disclosure, but also let us know whether or not this disclosure seems appropriate in setting X. By witnessing the disclosure (even though it may ultimately be intended for a different person or group), our colleague provides the setting for a “dress rehearsal.”

Once we have disclosed something (even to a friend), it carries less power. It is no longer as “big a deal.” We have said it and the world has not fallen down around us. Our colleague has received what we said and is now ready to strategize with us about when and where to make this disclosure to the person or group in question, and about how to articulate this disclosure. If there is not a friend available for this pilot test, then one should obtain the services of a performance coach—someone who can provide the safe setting in which to try out the role of discloser and, more specifically, help set up the conditions for the preparation and rehearsal of a specific disclosure script.

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