Objective: To show how communication occurs at two levels.
Time: about 30 Minutes
Instructions1. Read and discuss The Johari Window that is listed below.
2. Divide the class into small groups and have them discuss the questions.
3. Have each group list their findings on a flip chart.
4. When they are finished, rejoin them into one large group and have each group discuss their findings.
The Johari Window
About thirty years ago, Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingram created a quadrant to reveal what we know or don't know about something and what others know or don't know about something. They called it the “Johari Window of Opportunity” (from JOseph and HARrIngton).
They theorized that the communications process occurs at two levels:
- The overt level — what was actually said
- The convert or hidden level — what is actually meant
When the two levels of the communication process are viewed from the perspectives of the communicator and the listener, it provides four panes into the window on how we give and receive information about ourselves and others:
- Arena — Known to self and others: This is what we communicate to others. It is what the communication process is all about.
- Facade — Known to self, but unknown to others: This is what we conceal from others. Sometimes there is a good reason for holding something back, e.g. gossiping. At other times it might be bad for the communication process; e.g. holding something back because it gives us a false sense of job security.
- Blind Spot — Unknown to self, but known to others: Sometimes we communicate something we are unaware of. For example, I might say, "I'm not angry," while slamming my fist on the table.
- Unknown — Unknown to neither self not others
- What pane can lead to confusion? Why?
- What pane is not really troublesome, however it can lead to the most opportunities for improvement? Why?
- What are some other reasons that people might hold back (Facade)?
Instructor Answer Guide
Question 1: Facade, as it may convey double meanings to others (confusion). i.e., you tell your team to make decisions while you are gone, but you usually turn the decisions around when you get back.
Question 2: The Unknown, as these can be thought of as windows of opportunity — better communication processes, brainstorming sessions, learning to trust others, etc. This is where we turn the unknown into the known.
Question 3: Lack of trust, we may have feelings we do not feel comfortable discussing with others until we get to know them real well, we do not want to hurt someone, etc.
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