The New Johari Window #27: Quadrant Three: The Locus of Control
An interpersonal context that encourages positive proactive disclosure is one in which people want to share information about themselves with others. This is a context in which there is considerable trust regarding both intentions and perspective. There is a bit of irony here, for only through honest disclosure of intentions and perspective can the trust be established. We have a “chicken-and-egg” dilemma that is not easily solved. Trust in competency is also important. Can this other person “handle” what I have to disclose?
Once again when we see competence, then we are more likely to disclose. When we disclose, others are more likely to see us as competent and we can more readily discern if the other person is competent enough to receive our disclosure in a constructive manner. Positive proactive disclosure is often found in temporary settings—personal growth groups, executive coaching sessions, spiritual retreat centers. These times and places serve as “sanctuaries” in which powerful norms regarding openness and safety can be established and reinforced, and in which interpersonal training can occur. Interpersonal contexts that discourage proactive disclosure often are filled with mistrust, power differentials, impending threat or unclear interpersonal norms.
An interpersonal context that engenders positive reactive disclosure is one in which we are encouraged by other people to share Quad Three information about ourselves. Other people seem to be genuinely interested in us. We find that our assumptions are proven wrong about what they already know about us (the assumed self) what they want to know about us (deferential self) or what they need to know about us in order to establish a trusting, effective and sustainable relationship. Trust, once again, is very important. We are still concerned with intentions (why do they want to know more about me?) and competence (can they take in what I say without distorting it or making use of it in an inappropriate manner, such as “outing” me with other people)?