The Johari Window

Disclosure/Feedback model of awareness known as the Johari Window, named after Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham. It was first used in an information session at the Western Training Laboratory in Group Development in 1955.

Known to self Unknown to self
Known to others




Unknown to others



The four panes of the window represent the following:

Open The open area is that part of our conscious self – our attitudes, behaviour, motivation, values, way of life – of which we are aware and which is known to others. We move within this area with freedom. We are “open books”.
Hidden Our hidden area cannot be known to others unless we disclose it. There is that which we freely keep within ourselves, and that which we retain out of fear. The degree to which we share ourselves with others (disclosure) is the degree to which we can be known.
Blind There are things about ourselves which we do not know, but that others can see more clearly; or things we imagine to be true of ourselves for a variety of reasons but that others do not see at all. When others say what they see (feedback), in a supportive, responsible way, and we are able to hear it; in that way we are able to test the reality of who we are and are able to grow.
Unknown We are more rich and complex than that which we and others know, but from time to time something happens – is felt, read, heard, dreamed – something from our unconscious is revealed. Then we “know” what we have never “known” before.

The Johari window

The Johari window

Black holes

The Johari Window model is a simple and useful tool for illustrating and improving self-awareness, and mutual understanding between individuals within a group. The Johari window tool can also be used to assess and improve a group’s relationship with other groups. The Johari window model is especially relevant due to modern emphasis on, and influence of, ‘soft’ skills, behaviour, empathy, cooperation, inter-group development and interpersonal development.

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