The process of giving and receiving feedback is essential component of communication. It is also important in training such that through feedback processing we see ourselves as other see us. It is through feedback that we can learn how other people see us as well as give other people an opinion of how we see them. Feedback is a reaction by others usually expressed in terms of feelings and perceptions. It can tell behavior effects, feelings and perceptions.
Johari is a metaphor of a window through which we look at ourselves and others. It divides knowledge into four panes. 1 and 3 represent those aspects of our lives and personalities which are exclusively known to ourselves and may or may not be known to others. Panes1 and 2 represent those aspects which are known by others but are not commonly obvious or not known to us. Pane four represent the aspects of us which are not obvious to ourselves or others.
In a team work where everyone is absolutely open to each other, chances are the team works extremely effective to each other. Knowing co-worker better develops a strong solid foundation of trust between members of the team. This results in positive working environment where a great deal of work is accomplished together. Most of the people rely on trust to execute their work effectively in a team. Thus, building trust is an essential element of teamwork communication.
The Johari window is a model that helps team members learns important aspects about themselves essential for human development. Johari window works in two mechanisms. As a person you can build trust with others by disclosing information about yourself. Second, feedback elicited from others can help you learn about yourself and come with terms with personal issues.
The meeting comprised of 350 people. Everyone in the team was requested to pick an adjective from the table below.
As the team settles, tell them that as we come together to build and practice team leadership and effective change in the community, it is important to deepen the relationships between members and discover new ways to collaborate and work together. It is much easier to work comfortable with a person you trust and know better and this exercise is meant to dig deeper into knowing them.
Pass out some clean forms and ask them to pick five to six words from the table. Any word that is not clear to the team members is clarified.
Next each participant is requested to pick five to six words that best describe their personality according to their own assessment.
The adjectives are then mapped onto the four quadrants of the Johari Window.
The next step the participants are requested to pick five to six words that describe the personality of their fellow participants.
The use of positive words in the table is meant to activate the team into sharing and receptive mood. If negative words could be used it would be more difficult for the team to respond.
The team will be pooled into four segments representing the four partitions of the Johari Window.
In order to be successful, a set of questions is unleashed to guide them occupy their pools. The questions are as follows;
- Think of someone in the team that you don’t know about well or with whom you would like to build a deeper relationship with. What is something that is in your hidden window that you would like to share with that person. Make a commitment to yourself to disclose it to the person in the next hour. On the converse, to make team working better what are some of the things that you would like the team members to disclose to you.
- What feedback are you likely to give if that person were to open up to you. How will you place your request to give the feedback? How will you cultivate a harmonious conversation so as not to damage the relationship during feedback? Make a commitment to invite this person in the next session.
- What are some feedbacks about yourself that you would like to receive? From whom would you like it from? Make a commitment to have this conversation.
- What are some of the words other in the team chose for you that you did not know and chose about yourself? Would you consider these the blind spots in yourself?
Johari window was used as a background method for facilitating conversations and discussions about each team member.
- First quadrant pool: Open self
Adjectives that are selected by the member itself and other members are pooled together and placed in the open self compartment of the Johari Window. These represent the adjectives that the participant and the team members are aware of.
- Second quadrant: Hidden self
Adjectives selected by the participant himself but not by others are placed in the hidden self compartment. The information is known by the participant alone but the fellow team members do not know about their existence in that person.
- Third quadrant; Blind self
These comprise of the adjectives that are not selected by the participant but are selected by others in the team. They are the blind self in the Johari Window. These are the adjectives that the participant do not know about self but are known by others. The participant can opt to invite feedback from fellow team members so that he starts knowing additional qualities known by others alone.
- Fourth quadrant
These are the adjectives that were not selected either by the team members or the participant. They fall in the dark self compartment of the Johari Window. The qualities were not recognized by anyone who took part in the meeting. The team member will have to scrutinize these qualities and make a plan of action to develop them as per his needs.
The configurations have succeeded to grouping 350 people into diverse groups according to the Johari Window. Members are advised to pick some of the adjectives they found in their hidden, blind and dark self and develop a plan of action to exercise them. This will take place in the second and the third day of the meeting.
In the presentation part of the meeting, each participant will present a plan of action of developing an open area. After each presentation suggestions are sought on how the member can decrease the hidden, self and dark areas and develop a broader open area.
For instance in order to decrease the size of the blind spot, the arrow needs to move far right in the window. The open and hidden panes will increase in size as the blind and unknown panes decrease. The blind spot details the information the team knows but the participant is not aware. The only way to increase this knowledge is through soliciting feedback from the team. If the participant solicit feedback consistently and remain receptive, the size of the blind spot will increase.
Fig. 1 and 2: Increasing Open area
In the same breadth, if a member desires to decrease the hidden area, i.e. move the horizontal line down, he needs to engage more with the team by telling them his perceptions, feelings, opinions and suggestions. The feedback informs the team exactly where his stand is so that they no longer have to guess about the implication of his actions.
As the member discloses more information about himself, he decreases the size of his hidden spot, thus, creating trust among team members. High degree of trust in a working team is significant. The size of the open area increases the trust levels because it signifies openness to team members. The channel for giving and receiving feedback is not strained facilitating communication.
Henry L. Tosi, M. P. (2011). Managing Organizational Behavior: Individuals, Teams, Organization and Management. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Jan Sutton, W. S. (2012). Learning to Counsel. How To Books Ltd.
Richard West, L. H. (2010). Understanding Interpersonal Communication: Making Choices in Changing Times, Enhanced Edition: Making Choices in Changing Times. Cengage Learning.