Training of trainers – NFL and interactive methods in Youth work – ACHIEVE

Lesson 24 – Communication: Johari window – text

Johari window

The Window of Interpersonal Communication

Johari window is a compact conceptual model for description, evaluation and forecast of aspects of the interpersonal communication. By the quadrats we present and receive information about ourselves and the others. The streams are dynamic. By the model we can see movements from one quadrat to another as rising and falling tides of trust, as actors exchanging feedbacks. The size of the quadrats can expand or decrease.

Johari Model
  Known to ourselves Not known to ourselves
Known to others Arena/Public self

Information that everyone knows.

Blank area/Blind self

Information that the person does not know or acknowledge (denies), but others do know. (Feedback)

Not known to others Facade/Private self

Private information known only by the person. Others can only infer this information.

Mystery/Unknown self

Information no one knows; The others must make inferences about aspects of the person’s personality that he or she is in denial or unaware of (hidden potential).


Windows’ quadrants


Public (open) self

This quadrat presents the free and open information sharing between me and the others, the public behavior accessible to everyone. The size of the quadrat increases as much as the trust between me and the other increases, as much as the information (the specific, related personally to me information) is shared. This is the information that concerns us personally, which every side finds useful.

Private self

For one reason or another I keep my information hidden – fear, risk of influences, demands and insecurity. One reason for my façade can be that I do not feel supported at home or at work. Maybe I want to protect myself from being criticized.

It is possible to guard certain type of information secret to support or protect the people around me. My motives can be:

  • Egoistic – I want to control the situation and not revealing myself complies with my tactics
  • Selfless – If I believe that the tactics of no revealing of myself can be useful

The tact, the diplomacy even the hidden offence can be features of out private personality. Keeping to ourselves a certain point of view no matter what we feel towards the other side can be a useful behavior. The “privacy” can protect us or the others. The private personality is controlled.

Blind Spot (Blind self)

When I (the ego) works with the others, all types of information are exchanged which you do not realize but the others do. How? With verbal keys, the manner, the way in which you say things or your style of connecting to the others. The limit up to which I am insensible about my behavior which touches the others can be surprising and confusing.

The blind spot is very important in relation to the personal development. Many of us know and realize that the others discover things that we do or say. Your behavior, the expression on your forehead, the tone of your voice can belie the contents of the message. Those can be our eccentric features. They can be like a bull in a China shop – behaviors to which the others find it hard to react, get hurt, irritated or worried. The way in which this worsens our relationships with the others depends from their attitudes towards us and their capacity to adapt to our behavior (their tolerance and flexibility).

The blind spot requires high level of awareness and self-control. When you look at yourself in the mirror you see yourself in the way you want to see yourself.

Unknown self

What influences me can be under the surface of what is realized by the both sides. We probably have unknown resources or features. The learning possibilities and the exchange of feedback in a supportive way allow those influences to go on to the surface and to reveal themselves but, only if we want that.


Johari’s window is a useful tool for trainers working in a team, managers and even members of the family who can evaluate their interpersonal positions and analyze their experiences. When the conditions of the feedback and the learning are appropriate the model of Johari offers to us an analytical frame where it is easier to see ourselves with the eyes of the others.


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The training program “Training of Trainers” is an educational product that is currently missing in the partner countries – Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania. Due to the early stage of development of the youth sector and youth work in these countries the educational materials aimed at non-formal learning are still limited and insufficient. The lack of adequate educational framework for training of youth workers in the field of formal education leads to inefficient use of the capacity of professionals.

This course fills a gap in the youth sector, namely the need of methodologies for the preparation of trainers, who are able to train youth workers. This course will set the basis for the preparation of teams of trainers of youth workers. The course will serve the goal of development of youth work in the participating countries and other interested parties. A large number of youth workers can be trained according to the methodology at national and international level to use and promote non-formal learning as a tool to enhance the realization of young people in the labor market and increase their social cohesion.

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