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The New Johari Window #1: Introduction to the Interpersonal Dance

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Why are some people interpersonally smart? Why do other people seem to be interpersonally challenged, if not downright stupid? Even more fundamentally, why are each of us sometimes geniuses and sometimes idiots in our interactions with people about whom we care deeply? Whom we want to influence? Whom we want to engage in a less contentious manner? With whom we want to be more productive manner?

Interpersonal effectiveness is not just a matter of social or interpersonal intelligence and not just a matter of interpersonal competence. It is also a matter of becoming more fully aware of the multiple dimensions in which human interactions operate. In seeking to address the WIIFM challenge (What’s in it for me?), this set of essays provides a new model of interpersonal relationships that builds on the most widely used model of interpersonal relationships to be offered during the second half of the 20th Century—namely the Johari Window. Acknowledged as among the most insightful and useful models of human interaction, the Johari Window continues to be respected and often cited during the first years of the 21st Century.

In the present set of essays, I offer a new edition of the Johari Window. The New Johari Window offers fresh insights and useful concepts regarding human interaction. Specifically, it addresses eight fundamental and elusive questions that face each of us in our daily interactions and that have much to say about the extent to which we are smart or not so smart in the way in which we conduct these interactions:

1. Why don’t other people see me the way I see myself?
2. How do I find out what other people really think about me?
3. What do people know about me or feel about me that they don’t share with me?
4. Why don’t other people sometimes trust me?
5. Why do I find it hard to share important information about myself (thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears) with some of the important people in my life?
6. How do I tell other people that I don’t like something that they do in a way that doesn’t harm our relationship?
7. How do I let other people know who I really am?
8. Why don’t I or can’t I tell some people what I really admire about and how I benefit from who they are or what they do?

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