Tag Archives: Trait theory

Johari window: A tool to gauge human relations

Human beings are endowed with a fantastic and most developed brain. While animals settle their scores for supremacy by physical fighting, the humans do this by mind games. It is due to this reason, we are constantly trying to know what is going on in the minds of others.

Brain is the most complex organ and marvel of God. We have understood a mere tip of the iceberg. It works on conscious and sub-conscious levels. Our thoughts which shape our personality originate, processed and stored in our brains.

We also want to be better persons adored by large number of people. We have to seek, find, and apply truth in your life. This is the path to becoming a healthy person. Aligning yourself with the truth permits a better person to eventually emerge from within.

Scientists and psychologists are trying to understand the human behavior so that its talents can be utilized better. Different models are designed to understand the interactions between human beings. For example at workplace, if the understanding between employees is good, the productivity will increase which in turn be good for all.

One of such models is called the Johari Window.  The name is derived from the inventors’ names’ Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham. The Johari Window helps you to categorize conscious and subconscious areas of your life. The window works much like a matrix with four cells. These 4 cells are the areas of your personality derived from your views of yourself and what others think about you. These results of the four operators namely

1: “what you know about yourself”,

2: “what you don’t know about yourself”,

3: “what others know about you” and finally

4: “what others do not know about you”

are placed in these four cells and the area of each cell decides what kind of personality you have and what are the areas where improvement is desired. These are like the results of logical operators which have “Yes” or “No” outcome.

Interaction of 1 & 3 is called “open area”.  This area indicates how much of your personality traits are known to you and others. Wider this area, better is your ability to be open and share the thoughts with each others.

Interaction of 1 & 4 is your “Private realm”. This is the part of your personality which you know but others are unaware of. If it becomes smaller then it is better because others shall also share their personality traits with you.

Interaction of 2 & 3 is called “blind Area” meaning you have traits which may be good or bad which you yourself are unaware of but others know about. This area can be reduced by the feed backs which you receive from others and try to adjust your personality accordingly.

Interaction of 2 and 4 is area of your personality which neither you nor others know about. This is in other words your undiscovered self.  This area is largest when a person joins a new organization. Slowly this area will be reduced with the passage of time. It goes from the obvious and more conscious areas of your life to the less obvious areas that your may not be aware of.

Their are 56 words which psychologists use to judge the personality. These are given below:

  • able
  • accepting
  • adaptable
  • bold
  • brave
  • calm
  • caring
  • cheerful
  • clever
  • complex
  • confident
  • dependable
  • dignified
  • energetic
  • extroverted
  • friendly
  • giving
  • happy
  • helpful
  • idealistic
  • independent
  • ingenious
  • intelligent
  • introverted
  • kind
  • knowledgeable
  • logical
  • loving
  • mature
  • modest
  • nervous
  • observant
  • organized
  • patient
  • powerful
  • proud
  • quiet
  • reflective
  • relaxed
  • religious
  • responsive
  • searching
  • self-assertive
  • self-conscious
  • sensible
  • sentimental
  • shy
  • silly
  • smart
  • spontaneous
  • sympathetic
  • tense
  • trustworthy
  • warm
  • wise
  • witty

The Johari Window is a very helpful internal and external communication grid (intra-psychic and interpersonal). You may find it quite useful as you journey forward into the discovery of who you are. Desired Johari’s Window

What Can be Done?

It is case of grin and bear it. Nobody can change your personality traits at this stage because these have become tempered with the vagaries of the time. If you try to change the other person, he or she becomes even more alert and opposes the efforts with double force. The person thinks that he is being scapegoat or that other one is at fault.

So, it is better not to even think of undertaking the wild adventure. Bear the onslaughts with grace. Do not reciprocate and try to be cool. Else it is you who will be the loser. You may lose your peace of mind. Your may fall ill. You may contract heart disease. It is simply your lot. You can be unhappy even if you have enough resources at your hand because money cannot buy this commodity.

I think it will be a feat in itself if we can practice what Kabir advised when he said that “Always keep the Critic near you. They will keep you always alert and force you to remember the God in distress”. There is no use of even getting mum and keeping your mouth shut. It is interpreted in some other way and soon you will be forced to spill over giving a chance to the opposing party to attain victory over you. God alone can save us.