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The New Johari Window #35: A Final View

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We are about to bring to a close our transformation of and full appreciation for the interpersonal relationship model first offered by Joe Luft and Harrington Ingram at a seminar in Ojai California. As we end this journey, I wish to restate Joe Luft’s initial set of assumptions. Following are these primary principles of change offered by Luft with regard to the Original Johari Model. I offer Luft’s original statement about each principle. These principles have informed the New Johari Window. However, each of these principles has been expanded or revised as a result of the new analysis. I follow my own tracing out of the changes and revised implications of each principle with a case study that illustrates the way in which the New Johari Window might be engaged when seeking to understand what has occurred in particular interpersonal dance.

1. A change in any one quadrant will affect all other quadrants.

As we have seen, the quadrants are usually closely linked to (even locked in with) one another. All other quadrants are usually affected, but to varying extents when any one quad expands or contracts. Furthermore, there can be direct crossovers between opposing quads. We have also shown, however, that at times the four quadrants operate in a manner that belies direct linkage.

At times, one or more quads can expand or contract without changing the size of one or more of the other quads. This will usually create a heightened level of tension within the person experiencing this distorted rearrangement. A defensive maneuver usually is required for the distorted adjustment to take place—suggesting that an important investment is being made to ensure that something important is not changing. This defensive maneuver often is required because of a threat (real or imagined) posed by another person.

Case Example: Jim is about to receive his annual performance review. He has received this same type of review during the past five years when he has served as manager of a distribution center. However, something is different this time. Jim has a new boss that he doesn’t particularly like and does not trust. His new boss also reminds Jim in certain ways of his own highly judgmental father. Jim’s Quad Four has sprung a leak and images as well as memories of his father that have been buried for years are now flooding into Jim’ third quadrant. Thus, with regard to Jim’s window, the third quad is growing larger while the fourth quad is shrinking in size.

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