The New Johari Window #3: Locus of Control

The New Johari Window #3: Locus of Control

Yet, in her nonverbal communication (particularly tone of voice and posture), Elizabeth conveys a quite different impression. Through her voice, Elizabeth seems to be apologizing for giving her subordinates any assignments. Furthermore, she sometimes fails to follow up to see if the assignments have been completed, thereby conveying, through her actions, that either she doesn’t really care about the completion of these specific assignments, or she doesn’t think she is “worthy” of asking her subordinates to complete specific tasks that she has asked them to do. Elizabeth has received ample feedback regarding her nonverbal communication and sporadic lack of follow-up (this is not Quad Two material). That’s why she has a coach. Yet, she feels like her nonverbal behavior is “out of her control” (Quad One-E) and that sometimes she can’t assert herself with regard to follow up without coming across as a “demanding boss.” Prior to our coaching sessions, the nonverbal communication remained for Elizabeth “out of her control.” As a result of the coaching, she began to realize that she was not too demanding—rather she was unpredictable. This is what frustrated her subordinates. Elizabeth came to see that greater predictability regarding follow-up was critical to her effective leadership and that self-confidence resides not only in what one says, but also in what one does. This increase in compatibility between words (Quad One-I) and actions (Quad One-E) helped Elizabeth to begin speaking in a manner that conveyed more confidence and self-assurance.

The gap between internal and external panes creates yet another problem. The gap often leads to cognitive dissonance. The person with the gap finds that his sense of self is filled with contradictions. The person he wants to be and has some control over is not very closely aligned with the person that he is as a result of external events and forces. This dissonance, in turn, encourages distortion in either his internal panes or his external panes. For example, I have consulted to a man (I will call him Daniel) who is quite careful about what he says to other people with whom he works (Quad 1-I). Yet, the people with whom Daniel works have given him feedback that they can “read him like an open book.” (Quad 1-E) They can predict how he will react in a specific situation, once they read his nonverbals. Daniel is faced with cognitive dissonance. He holds the self-image of someone who is able to “hold his cards close to his vest,” (Quad 3-I) yet apparently does not have a very good “poker face.” (Quad 1-E)


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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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