Johari Window Juju

skyeteam leadership development

We are often asked to help clients improve their skills in difficult conversations and giving feedback – delivering those messages that might be scary to deliver and tough to hear. Here’s a little tip that might help take some of the stress out of those interactions. It’s an oldie but a goodie and I use it all the time in my own interactions. It’s the Johari Window. Remember that?

Picture a box with four sections as follows:

 

Things I know about myself, and others know about me – my public self.

Things others know about me but I do not know about myself – my blind spot.
Things I know about myself, but others do not know – my private self.

Things I don’t know about myself, and others don’t know either – the unknown.

 

Everyone has all four sections, and they vary in size depending on how private the person is – how much they share about themselves, or not; and how much they ask for feedback from others. Tough conversations can be tough if the subject matter is something in someone’s blind spot.  The thing about blind spots is that you can’t see them. Everyone else knows you have something in your teeth, but you think everything’s great.

So before you jump into something that is painfully obvious to you, stop and think about the possibility that the other person may have no idea that something’s up. Don’t avoid the conversation. Just be thoughtful about the words you use, the setting you choose, and be ready to adjust if you do catch them by surprise. It works.