Servant-leaders have a deep understanding of themselves and constantly strive to expand their self-awareness. One tool that enhances this awareness is the Johari Window, which has been around for decades. As seen in the diagram, the window is divided into four panes or quadrants. The open quadrant refers to behavior and motivation known to self and to others. If you are wearing a blue shirt, you and others know that. The second, the blind area, represents when others know something that is unknown to you. If you had spinach in your teeth and didn’t know it, but someone else noticed and told you, this would move from the blind quadrant to the open quadrant. The third is the hidden area, in which you choose not to reveal certain aspects of yourself to others. Through disclosure, this information moves into the open quadrant. When we choose to share something of ourselves that we previously kept hidden, we are showing vulnerability and trust in doing so. The fourth quadrant represents the unknown. Neither you nor others are aware of certain behaviors, motivations, or feelings, but over time through revelation, these might come to the surface. Better communication and higher levels of trust occur when as much information as possible is in the open quadrant. Feedback, disclosure, and revelation help us to gain more self-knowledge in the interest of becoming a more effective servant-leader.
For more about the Johari Window and personal awareness, consult the Gabriel Center’s curriculum, Becoming a Servant-Leader.
Mark Elberfeld, President