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

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

At the other extreme, we find humanists and existentialists. They also are inclined toward an internal locus of control and focus on the isolated and courageous human beings who must acknowledge and live with the consequences of their individual actions and free will. An internal locus for these philosophers, novelists and psychologists translates into something much more profound than that offered by corporate tycoons. Humanists and existentialists honor the dignity and responsibility that accompany free will and relate this engagement of free will to the fundamental processes of thought. Rollo May (1969, pp. 204, 230), for instance, indicates that:

I have had the conviction for a number of years . . . that something more complex and significant is going on in human experience in the realm of will and decision that we have yet taken into our studies. . . . . Cognition, or knowing and conation, or willing . . . go together. We could not have one without the other. . . . If I do not will something, I could never know it; and if I do not know something, I would never have any content for my willing. In this sense, it can be said directly that man makes his own meaning.

Humanists, such as Rollo May, see human beings as constructivists, who create their own meaning and purpose in life. In parallel fashion, they identify an internal locus of control as an opportunity (and challenge) to act in an ethical manner. We are architects of our own fate and soul. We can’t assign blame to anyone else in the world—past or present. We stand convicted of our own actions and the consequences of our actions.


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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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