The New Johari Window #1: Beginning a Journey

The New Johari Window #1: Beginning a Journey

In a nutshell by applying the Johari Window we know why old George over there irritates us or why we don’t get along with Susan. Like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Johari Window allows us to talk about difficult interpersonal relationships from a somewhat “objective” perspective. The least often mentioned (but perhaps most important) reason for the popularity of the Johari Window is that it seems to be an orphan. There is no author, so the model can be used without paying any royalties or purchasing anyone’s book.

Unfortunately, this last reason is not valid. There is an author and there is a book. Yet, this person and book are rarely cited by those who use the Johari Window. The person is Joe Luft. The book is On Human Interaction.  Actually, Joe Luft isn’t the only author and On Human Interaction is not really the source of the Johari Window. The Johari Window was presented first at a human relations conference held in Ojai California during the 1950s. Sponsored by the University of California in Los Angeles, the Ojai conferences brought together some of the most accomplished human relations and organization development researchers and consultants in North America to provide education and training to high level executives in major organizations.

As is typical of this type of high-level and high-powered conferences, senior staff members were asked by the conference dean to prepare brief presentations that relate specifically to the dynamic events emerging from the intensive interpersonal experiences of the conference. At this particular Ojai conference, two of the senior staff members—Joe Luft and Harrington Ingram—were asked to prepare a presentation on interpersonal relationships that would be presented the following morning at a general session. Joe and Harrington sat down with a flip chart page and magic marker in hand to prepare this presentation. On a now-fabled tree stump they sketched out a four cell model of interpersonal relationships that focused on the degree to which two people are open with one another in sharing their thoughts and feelings (especially about one another).

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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: www.psychology.edu) offers Master and Doctoral degrees in both clinical and organizational psychology to mature, accomplished adults.

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