LEADER’S FIELD GUIDE
Assuming feedback is given with good intentions, it is both a courageous gift and a dose of critical medicine. Regardless, it stings just a bit each time it is received. As a leadership coach, I have the opportunity to conduct 360° Reviews. I am trusted with information provided by managing leaders, lateral peers, and direct reports. I compile input from my clients’ colleagues who share words of affirmation and words of caution. Yet, the value of this information is directly tied to my clients’ receptivity to feedback. That’s where blind spots come in.
Blind spots decrease when healthy communication, receptivity to feedback, and self-awareness increases.
The Johari (joe-HARRY) Window Model indicates levels of disclosure and self-awareness and was developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham– hence the name. The Johari Window is comprised of four quadrants or panes. The panes indicate what is known and not known by yourself and others. Each leader has a window of four panes, but the panes are not necessarily equal in size. For example, if you and a colleague have been working together for 15 years, the Open pane shared (a combination of Known to Self and Known to Others) will be much larger than if you’d just met. Similarly, if you are rather reserved and disclose very little about yourself, what is known to others will be represented by a very small pane.
|THE JOHARI WINDOW MODEL*|
|Known to Self||Not Known to Self|
|Known to Others||Open Area or Arena||Blind Spot|
|Not Known to Others||Hidden Area or Façade||Unknown|
- Open: The Open area, according to Lori Zakel, is ideal. When in balance, it indicates a responsiveness to feedback and a disposition of disclosure, both of which are critical for effective self-development and teamwork.
- Blind: Unfortunately, blind spots can be strengths and, um, “opportunities.” Once revealed, a former blind spot can create a powerful pivot point for leaders who study and refine the implications of their behavior.
- Hidden: What is hidden may include past experiences which tend to be innocuous and secrets which may impact the team negatively. Someone who remains private can be perceived as mysterious and tends not to be quickly trusted.
- Unknown: What is unknown by self and others may actually explain unexpected motives and surprising behaviors. Healthy communication can decrease the Unknown and may reveal hidden qualities and capabilities.
As you might have guessed, any extreme serves as a red flag and indicates an opportunity to modulate levels of disclosure and responsiveness to feedback. My clients are often being groomed for the next level. I am in constant admiration of those that take feedback in stride and continue fine-tuning their widening ability and platform for influence.
— Join a Synergy Group where we will discuss what the
Bible says about The Johari Window. —
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman (PMP, PCC) is a speaker, author, and leadership coach with Leading Synergies. She founded Synergy Groups, virtual masterminds connecting all Christians, everywhere, for the purpose of Community, Accountability, Transformation, and Leadership. She also partners with high-performers and heirs-apparent especially in the STEM industries. Michelle’s formal background in technology, franchise, and project management gives her an edge on implementing best practices and scaling towards sustainable success. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 22 years.