How To Use Johari Window For Team Building

October 22, 2022

When working with teams, there are always underlying tensions that exist within groups of people.

These internal conflicts can quickly escalate into something much larger than what should be dealt with as an individual issue.

That is why it is important to recognize these internal struggles and learn how to use the concept of The Johari Window in team building.

The Johari window was first described by Kurt Binder in his paper titled "A Conceptual Framework For Self-Evaluation." It was then adapted for organizational settings by William Moulton “Mike” Johnson and Robert Ennis in their book called “The One Minute Manager.”

Since its introduction, the Johari window has been used for self-evaluation, understanding personality types, and improving interpersonal relationships.

It works best when applied during times of transition or change. This way, each person can evaluate themselves independently without influence from others.

This article will go more in-depth about how to apply the Johari Window for effective team building. You'll also find several examples using both the descriptive and interpretation versions of the model.

History of the Johari Window

The concept of the Johari window was first introduced in 1959 by Drs. Ronald J. Litt and Edward M. Goulston. At that time, they were referring to it as a "Johari diagram." Since then, it has been adapted and rebranded many times. It is most commonly referred to now as the Johari window.

The term "window" refers to how much information you have about someone else. For example, if your friend comes to you with their full salary, then there is a large open window into their innermost feelings and secrets. If she/he does not tell you this info, then there is a small closed window.

When using the Johari window, two windows compare each other. One is an insight window and one is a disclosure window. Both of these windows can be opened or shut at any given moment depending on what info people share.

At the beginning of a relationship, both windows may be open because individuals share intimate details. As relationships progress, however, things change. Sometimes, people begin to feel more comfortable sharing certain things so that they know who they are around and whether they will succeed or fail. This is when one or both of the windows get left closed - which is why there is a gap where understanding exists but emotions run high.

This article will help you use the Johari window to improve team-building activities and interactions.

Identify your blind spots

how to use johari window for team building

As mentioned before, one of the key components of using the Johari window is identifying your own internalized biases or stereotypes. By being aware of these prejudices, you can begin to challenge them and learn about yourself along the way.

By becoming conscious of how you think about different groups, you will be able to use this information to help other people feel more validated.

It’s easy to generalize an entire group of people based on a few individuals within that group. For example, if three people in a room like pizza then we automatically assume that everyone does, which isn’t always true.

However, when there’s a party of ten people and two people who love pizza, we may make assumptions such as “well, they must not like food much” or “they don’t like themselves so why should anyone else care.” Both of those statements could not be further from the truth, but it takes someone outside our inner circle to show us that.

By actively trying to understand the beliefs of others, we take away some of their power by proving that they’re not as unique as they believe themselves to be. This also helps promote trust between individuals, groups, and organizations.

Share your window with your team

how to use johari window for team building

As mentioned earlier, sharing your JI is not just with your colleagues, but also with yourself. By doing this you can gain more insight into how others perceive you and what traits they think you show off.

This is especially important if you feel like there’s a lot of tension in the department or group. If you have a feeling that someone doesn’t trust you, go ahead and investigate why by looking into their JIS.

By analyzing these windows, you will be able to determine whether there are internal struggles within them, whether they look good, and what parts of you they admire.

Take the window to the next level

how to use johari window for team building

Once you have completed the basic stages of the Johari Window, there are several different ways to use it in team building or leadership training. Some people make the mistake of using it as a tool to find out more about someone’s strengths and weaknesses. This can be very misleading because it is hard to apply the concepts of the window to others.

The most effective way to use the Johari Window in leader-follower relationships is to identify what resources each person has and how they can help each other achieve their goals. By doing this, you will see that no one feels left out or useless. It also creates an environment where everyone comes together to accomplish a common goal.

This article will talk about some easy ways to apply the Johari Window in your group setting or with colleagues at work.

Connect with your team

how to use johari window for team building

As mentioned before, one of the most important things in workplace relationships is establishing trust. This can be tricky when there are dramatic shifts in roles or people leave the organization.

By having open conversations about past experiences and current situations, you will find that understanding comes more naturally.

By being aware of what parts of yourself are hidden from others, you will have less fear of rejection. By learning how other people perceive you, you can work on improving your self-image.

The easiest way to start building trust is by simply being honest and direct. Letting go of pretenses and filters can strengthen relationships.

Another good tip is to remember that not everything said around you should be considered true. A lot of times, we don’t know who may be trying to gain an advantage.

Be honest and direct

how to use johari window for team building

As mentioned before, knowing your colleagues’ levels of confidence is important when working together. If you are ever feeling that something isn’t quite right, ask them directly if they agree with what was said or done!

By being straightforward and authentic, you will save lots of time wasted trying to figure things out. Plus, it creates an open conversation which can lead to more information.

If there's anything you're not sure about, use the Johari window to gain some insights! The Johari window helps you identify who feels secure in their position, who wants to be promoted, and who doesn't. By using this tool, you'll get a better understanding of how people feel at work and whether or not they're going to stay.

Be authentic

how to use johari window for team building

As mentioned before, you will need to be honest with yourself first. If certain behaviors or strategies do not work for you, drop them immediately! There is no use in investing time into something that does not help you feel good about yourself.

By being authentic, I mean to go after what you want instead of trying to fit in. You must understand that people who say they like someone’s clothes never actually look at their clothing style, but rather make judgments based on whatever body shape they have at the moment.

The same goes for those saying how great another person’s personality is- sometimes it seems as if they are just making an excuse for why the other person doesn’t look good to them.

We all have our struggles and life experiences that determine how we perceive the world around us. What works for one person may not work for you so don’t try to imitate what others do, but instead, find what works for you and stick to it!

Once you have mastered your internal self, then you can move on to focusing on external relationships. Having supportive friendships makes for happier living. Find those that share similar values and motivate each other to keep going.

Learn to be a good listener

how to use johari window for team building

As we know, being a good leader is more than just giving orders to your team, it’s listening to what they have to say. Leaders must listen not only to others but also to themselves. This way, you can learn about yourself and how you function as a leader and person.

By learning more about who you are as a leader, you will hone your leadership skills. You will understand your strengths and weaknesses as a leader and person.

Jumping in with opinions without paying attention to those around you or studying your personality is never a great idea. It could backfire and hurt relationships or even damage trust in your team.

As a leader, you should always be aware of what people are saying and work towards an understanding of their opinion. Listen to them, weigh up whether you agree or disagree and then come to your conclusion.

Your team may not agree with yours, but that’s okay! A healthy work environment does not require everyone to think alike. Having diverse viewpoints and different strategies and approaches can strengthen teamwork.

Good leaders develop strong communication channels both within the group and outside of it. This includes talking to individuals, meetings, emails, texts, and phone calls.

At the end of each conversation, you need to evaluate if you left the other individual feeling heard and understood. If you didn’t, try to see if there were any potential cause-and-effect scenarios between the two.

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