Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Doing the Johari Window

Earlier this year I heard about Johari Windows. This was invented by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in the 1950s as a model for mapping personality awareness, eg, how others see you from a fixed set list of adjectives. Anyone fancy doing it the link is

So you start off by choosing up to six adjectives from a large list of fairly positive adjectives and you send a link to friends, family or colleagues and ask them to choose up to six from the same list of how they see you.

You can then compare how others see you against how you see yourself.

I did this as Jennifer, the writer, asking various writing friends to take part. Many of them have never met me, only know me via my online presence.

I then did it as Jennifer, the secretary at the day job, where we asked everyone in our team to take part. The interesting thing is how the two lists compare because how you come over to others in a safe online environment can be very different to how you are perceived on a daily basis, often under pressure. You have time to compose how you say things online that you may not in other circumstances, but also, how much of how you are perceived face-to-face is visual body language?

Jennifer the writer

80% think I am warm (wow! That isn’t one I would have called myself in a million years!)
60% think I am cheerful J
60% think I am friendly J
60% think I am intelligent (naturally!)

Other words chosen included independent, confident, bold, happy, self-assertive, trustworthy, giving, witty (witty?!) I would agree with all of those, although I’m not too sure about witty.

Other ones I chose included organized and reflective but no-one else chose those.

Neither did anyone (including myself) choose shy (me! Ha! Maybe 30 years ago). Nor sympathetic (true – I am be very cutting), dignified (*snort*), modest (*double snort*) or quiet (hahahahahaha).

Jennifer the secretary

85% think I am cheerful (interesting that came up in both lists)
85% think I am organized (intriguing it came up in this list but not the first, but then as a secretary they see the true extent of my organizational skills)
42% think I am friendly
28% think I am sensible (boring!)

Other words chosen included dependable, energetic, trustworthy (again), confident (again), kind, patient, self-assertive (again), modest (really – me?!), warm (again – but not as many as in the first list). Again, I would agree with all, except, maybe the last two. But clearly some people see me differently than I see myself.

The two words which were thought-provoking, though, were when some said I was tense and nervous. Which is true, in difficult situations I can be, and often more tense and nervous around some people that I might find hard to get on with than others.

And still no-one saw me as reflective and yet I can be an incredibly reflective person. After all, I wouldn’t be reflecting on these tests if I wasn’t!

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