Change: self awareness can help

One of my favourite models is the Johari window (Luft & Ingham, 1955). It allows us to consider how much we know about ourselves, supports with understanding team dynamics, building trust and is useful from improving communication.

In a coaching conversation, the model gives us the space to reflect on how aware we are of ourselves, our behaviours and our characteristics in relation to others and is particularly useful when considering giving and receiving feedback.

It’s relationship to change can be very powerful. Change can cause different emotions and reactions for us and we often find out blind spots or hidden areas opening during periods of change. It can be hard for a team to gel during change. This model can support how you reflect on yourself and team dynamics and help you understand where you might need to act to develop relationships.


Consider what you learnt about yourself during previous moments of change…

  • What did you learn about yourself that was new?
  • Was it positive or negative?
  • How did you react to learning that?
  • Did you change something as a result? If you didn’t, why didn’t you?
  • How did you learn that something new about yourself?
  • Was it through feedback or through reflection?
  • Do you think it would have influenced your reaction if you’d learnt it another way?

Now consider the model…

  • If the change happened when you were part of a team, how did your relationships in the team change?
  • How much trust did you build as a team? How did that trust develop or disintegrate during change?
  • Do the examples you have resonate in any particular quadrant?
  • Have you experienced receiving feedback or reflecting on something that might be in your blind area, particularly during a period of change? How did it feel?
  • How open was your open area during change?

Next time you go through a period of change, reflect on this model and how you can grow you, your leadership and your relationships with your team.

Reference: Luft, J. and Ingham, H. (1955). The Johari Window: a graphic model for interpersonal relations, University of California Western Training Lab.

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