The New Johari Window #27: Quadrant Three: The Locus of Control

The New Johari Window #27: Quadrant Three: The Locus of Control

An interpersonal context will discourage reactive disclosure when other people seem indifferent to us, when it doesn’t feel safe, or when norms regarding disclosure are unclear or inconsistent. Like many of my colleagues who facilitate groups, I often begin my work with a new group by offering a “warm-up” exercise that requires some disclosure (“What would you like to achieve in this workshop?” or “Share with us the worst job you have ever had”). If someone comes in late, I often give them a bad time by telling them that “everyone in the room has already shared their most intimate secret [or most embarrassing moment in their life] . . . you’re next!” While they almost immediately realize that I am kidding them, there is that moment of sheer terror on their face when they confront an interpersonal context where the norms regarding disclosure are unclear. Am I a skilled group facilitator—or a sadist!

Internal and External Locus of Control in Interaction

Several important dynamics are revealed when we look at the Quad Three interplay between the direct and indirect disclosure that arises out of an internal locus of control, and the proactive and reactive disclosure that arises out of an external locus of control,. First, the direct disclosure that is engaged with an internal locus tends to create a positive proactive context (external locus): when I disclose things about myself (Quad Three to Quad One) then other people are more likely to disclose things about themselves. Direct disclosure also can create a positive reactive context in which other people want and ask for even more information about me. This relationship, however, is curvilinear in nature. I can disclose too much about myself (the narcissistic inclination), leading other people to be quite reticent about asking for even more disclosure.


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About the Author

William Bergquist

William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant, professor in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 45 books, and president of a graduate school of psychology. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations. His graduate school (The Professional School of Psychology: offers Master and Doctoral degrees in both clinical and organizational psychology to mature, accomplished adults.

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