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All You Wanted to Know About Effective Communication

Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham invented one of the most popular tools for effective communication. Named after the two inventors, Johari Window is a conceptual framework of effective communication in society. The Johari Window is a four quadrant model.
  • The Open Quadrant, which is known to others and known to self;
  • The Blind Quadrant, which is known to others but unknown to self;
  • The Hidden Quadrant, which is unknown to others but known to self; and
  • The Unknown Quadrant, which is unknown to others and self
Open Quadrant
Some things about our lives are visible to everybody. The color of your hair, your gender, and other external attributes are in the Open quadrant. Also, by sharing information with others around you, people also know some things about your life, including your work profile and your place of residence. The more you share knowledge about yourself, the more things lie in the open area.

Blind Quadrant
We all think that we know ourselves pretty well. But if you ask close friends to describe you, you will be surprised at what they have to say. You will quite likely exclaim, 'Why, I didn't know that about myself!' This is because we are blind to certain aspects about ourselves that others notice. Are you arrogant? Are you self-centered? Are you boring? These are some of the aspects of your personality unknown to you but known to others. If you probe for an honest appraisal, you would learn a lot of new things about yourself.

Hidden Quadrant
Sometimes, dark secrets are best left unrevealed. In life, there may be many things that we are embarrassed or ashamed to reveal. Also, fear of rejection is also an important cause for people to hide some shameful aspects about themselves.

Unknown Quadrant
We know a lot about ourselves. There are others (family members and friends) who can tell us more about ourselves that we are blind to. We also know a lot more unrevealed information about ourselves. Yet, there is an area left unexplored within us that can contain a wealth of information. How does one know the information in the Unknown area? There is no specific method to bring out the unknown in the open. Sometimes, unexpected situations bring out unexpected behaviors. We have often heard stories about survivors of great tragedies and their ability to confront dangers. These survivors would not have known about their potential to face crisis. But in the event of crisis, these unknown qualities rise to the top.

Using Johari Window for Effective Communication
The biggest advantage of this tool is that it allows individuals to chalk out their own effective communication tool. Everyone has a different Johari model. Most of us have a bigger Open quadrant. However, some people may have a very big blind quadrant. The shy, introverted types would have a bigger Hidden quadrant. Johari window forecasts human interrelationships.

Team leaders can create effective communication between team members by encouraging exchange of information and personal ideas. Teams can bring about greater team cohesion with knowledge and personal info-sharing platforms.

Formal and informal channels of communication can cause a closer teambuilding catalyst. On an individual level, employees can gain a lot of confidence, and self esteem by using the Johari window. Toxicity between parallel teams in an organization can be eliminated by using Johari model for effective communication.

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