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

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

The dynamics of prejudice goes even further with regard to disclosure. As in the case of the defiant self, I might choose not to disclosure as a way of “getting back” at other people or as a way of establishing or reinforcing my position of power and control over “these people” or the interpersonal setting in which we must meet together.

At an even deeper level, this reticence to disclose might reveal a fear of becoming involved with these people or finding my prejudices disconfirmed. One of my colleagues is a long-time social activist, who is fighting for the rights of minorities in the United States. She indicated recently that she really doesn’t want to get to know the people she opposes in her community, nor does she have any interest in empathizing with the other side.

“I can’t continue to work against them and be passionate in my opposition to them if I get to know them as distinctive human beings. I am more likely to get to know them if I share something about myself with these people.” While her resistance to disclosing with people she doesn’t trust or like is quite understandable, it is also a form of prejudice and, ironically, represents the very dynamics of separation and distortion that she is fighting against in her work.

The reticence to disclose in a postmodern world is quite understandable. However, this reticence does come at a cost. System theorists suggest that high boundaries in any system eventually lead to the death of the system. Systems with high barriers or heavy boundaries—called “closed systems—generally are or soon become inanimate objects. Nothing enters or leaves a heavily bounded, closed system. There are closed-system people. They are men and women who are aloof and impersonal. They are “cold as a stone.”


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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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