The Johari Window

The Johari Window – around since the 1950’s – has been developed and adapted by others over the years. It is helpful because it can offer insight into how individuals, relationships and organisations might change.

It was created by two psychologists, Joseph Luft (1916–2014) and Harrington Ingham (1916–1995). Luft and Ingham named their model “Johari” using a combination of their first names.

How might it help? What the visual makes explicit is that I do not know all there is to know about me; you do not know all there is to know about me and both of us are in the dark about some aspects of me and you. Facing up to this might encourage some feedback to one another. Then each of us may be less in the dark!

Not knowing encourages us to find out

Not knowing can be called Discounting (an aspect of ourselves or other people). We discount when we minimise some aspect of our being or actions as in: “nothin’ to do with me, guv”.

The journey to better understanding is not a straight line although it will require, roughly speaking, a move from top left to bottom right. The ‘safe experiment’ guidance advises that the journey is best taken in small ‘bites’.

The ‘feedback’ referred to relates to the results you obtain from safe experiments and from those around you. This information may help you push out the boundaries of our self-awareness. That’s not so far away from widening our Window of Tolerance (WoT).

The Window of Tolerance (WOT) emphasises personal growth by encouraging us to step outside our ‘window’. The Johari Window encourages us to achieve this by moving from top left to bottom right; to become aware of the unknowns – things we do not grasp about ourselves and others as we mix with people in our lives.

The diagram offers one of a number of specific ways to do this – by asking others for information and by disclosing things, bit-by-bit, in a safe manner. There are other ways of looking at such changes.

Further leads to consider

The other views of scenic routes (1)

The other view of scenic routes (2)

what is a nudge

and why ‘small’?

So what ACTIONS might be included in a small, safe experiment?

Other models of Change

 the welcome page.


Published by robintre

I am a semi-retired, Registered Counselling Psychologist working from Norfolk in the UK. My website is based on experience working as a therapist, supplemented by working in the Probation Service over ten years, in child protection for four years and Higher Education teaching for seven years. I continue to run my own private practice. The creativity of many clients - in developing safe experiments - has provided the backbone of what you will read.