The New Johari Window #3: Interpersonal Relationships and the Locus of Control

The New Johari Window #3: Interpersonal Relationships and the Locus of Control

These two interpersonal processes also reduce the gap between internal and external panes of the window. Disclosure enables us indirectly (if not directly) to get feedback from other people about our external panes. The new double pane Johari Window adds a new level of appreciation to the nature and impact of feedback. Using the double pane model we discover that feedback is meant not only to help us learn something about ourselves that we didn’t know before or knew only opaquely (feedback as information-about-self), but also helps us gain a fuller and more complex understanding of ourselves in interaction with other people and our impact on other people (feedback as source of enriched-understanding-of-self).

For example, let’s imagine that I’m been asked to give my opinion about another person who has authority over me (let’s call him Sam). I view Sam in an ambivalent manner. I might be inclined initially to offer only a positive perspective about Sam, not wanting to hurt Sam’s feelings or risk my own job (if my ambivalent opinion got back to him). I also might hold back on my negative opinions because I want to appear to be a fair-minded person. My presentational self (Quad 1-I) would thus be filled with positive opinions about Sam. However, I might be sharing my more negative opinion about Sam through my nonverbal channels of communication or through my decline of an invitation to have dinner with Sam (Quad 1-E). I know that I am exhibiting these negative feelings (this is not Quad Three material), but don’t realize how aware other people are of these negative feelings.

At some point, I decide to “fess up” to my colleague, who first asked what I thought about Sam. I point out that I actually have quite mixed feelings about Sam. I admire him in some ways, but don’t trust him or like him very much when he is operating in his “official” role. At this point, my inquiring colleague might feel free to give me some feedback that is very helpful to me as I seek to enrich my own self-understanding (Quad 2-E to Quad 1-E). My colleague might point out that the nonverbals are very clear and that my decision to turn down the dinner invitation is a clear indication that I am not fully supportive of Sam. This is very important for me to know. My colleague is not telling me something I never knew about myself (that I exhibit some negative feelings regarding Sam); rather, my colleague is telling me about the extent to which this Quad 1-E (Inadvertent Self) communication is obvious to other people.


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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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