The New Johari Window: #9 Turbulence

The New Johari Window: #9 Turbulence

In their seminal book, The Pragmatics of Human Communications, Paul Watzlawick and his colleagues recognize and discuss this interplay of order and chaos in George and Martha’s relationship:

A system is said to be stable along certain of its variables if those variables remain within defined limits, and this is true of George and Martha’s dyadic system. “Stability” may seem the least appropriate term to describe their indoor commando games, but the issue rests on the variables intended. Their conversations are mercurial, noisy, shocking; restraint and social graces are quickly left behind, as it seems that anything goes. Indeed it would be extremely difficult at any point to guess what will happen next [chaos]. It would, however, be fairly easy to describe how it will happen between George and Marta. For the variables that here define stability are those of relationship, not content, and in terms of their relationship pattern the couple demonstrate an extremely narrow range of behavior [order].

This interplay between order and chaos is central to the analysis of complex human relationships—and to the New Johari Window.  With this appreciation of the dynamic relationship between order and chaos, I will return to the turbulent world of the white water stream and to another critical function that is served by turbulence—namely, the buffering of contradictory subsystems from one another.


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About the Author

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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