As an introvert a cocktail party is probably your idea of hell, lots of people you don’t know, “light conversation” (small talk) and it’s socially draining. I was at a cocktail party recently, thinking about Johari’s window and how it described what was happening; OK it was also good way for me to focus inwards! I realised that Johari’s window can give an interesting insight into how introverts can improve their effectiveness in business. How will you open your window?
What is Johari’s window?
Johari’s window is model that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others. It was created by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingram in 1955 (Jo Hari comes from their names to create the model’s name).
There are four quadrants:
- Open: The things both you and others know about you.
- Hidden self: Things you know about yourself, but the others don’t.
- Blind self: You don’t know these things, although others around you do know them.
- Unknown: Things about you that neither you or the others around you know.
If others understand you and you understand yourself you’re likely to be more effective in communicating/ being part of a team.
What’s Johari’s window go to do with introverts?
It’s not a tool about introverts although there are some interesting links.
Johari’s window helps consider what’s known to self and what’s known to others. How far you choose to open either of these two quadrants is up to you. Consider:
- a cocktail party where you’re mingling with guests (suspend your disbelief, introverts do cocktail parties sometimes). How much you let into the “open” depends on you. Introverts will, in that scenario, tend to keep the open window quite closed.
- spending time with deep friends, there are fewer people around and this is where introverts are likely to let more into the open, so more is known about them.
You’ve achieved these two positions by controlling what others around you know about you, opening, or closing quadrants.
Being more reflective.
If you, like many introverts, focus on being reflective rather than letting others understand you more, you increase the size of the “hidden self”. My challenge is, how does that help you perform with a team/ others around you?
There’s also a danger, I suspect that being too reflective when combined with being energised spending time on your own can lead to an unhappy place.
Increasing the “open” window.
The aim of the tool is to better understand your relationship with themselves and others; this involves enlarging the open window. To achieve this means allowing others to know more about you.
But wait, done well you can also learn from their reactions, this can help you learn more about yourself as well; hence your blind quadrant shrinks.
How will you open your window?
I would really appreciate three minutes of your time to understand your views of extroversion, introversion and how (if?) they affect performance in business.