The Johari Window: How Self-Awareness Can Improve Your Effectiveness as a Leader

The Johari window enhances self-awareness, communication, and trust

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What is the Johari Window?

Have you ever been part of a team whose team members were all open and honest with each other? If so, then chances are that you worked extremely effectively together.

You and your colleagues likely knew everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and enjoyed high levels of trust. Such a positive working environment likely helped to create a high performing and close, tight-knit unit.

The Johari window is a model that was created by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham to help people better understand themselves and others. This model is based on the premise that communication and trust in a team are enhanced when people are open and disclose important information about themselves and how they work, as well as when people actively seek feedback from others on their work.

Using the Johari Window

The Johari model represents individuals using four quadrants or windowpanes, each representing different aspects of personal information, feelings, and motivations. These windowpanes indicate whether the information is known or unknown to oneself or others. The four categories are as follows: public domain (information known to oneself and others), blind spot (information unknown to oneself but known to others), hidden region (information known to oneself but unknown to others), and unknown (information unknown to oneself and others).

The Johari model is commonly used by individuals to enhance self-awareness, but it can also be utilized to improve leadership effectiveness, personal development, and foster better workplace relationships.

An ideal Johari Window for a person is characterized by a significant public domain, and the goal is to expand this public domain by engaging in increased self-disclosure, promoting shared discovery, and seeking feedback from others.

The reason behind this is that when individuals have a better understanding of themselves and others, it tends to foster productivity, cooperation, and trust in their collaborative efforts. A substantial public domain indicates that you are aware of your own abilities, feelings, and behaviors and that those around you have a good understanding of you. This mutual understanding enhances your personal effectiveness and facilitates smoother interactions with others.


Let’s explore some key benefits that the Johari window brings to leaders enabling them to enhance their leadership effectiveness.


The Johari window enables leaders to develop a clearer picture of their own strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots. By reflecting on their own behavior and seeking feedback from others, leaders can expand their self-awareness. This increased self-awareness helps leaders recognize and leverage their strengths while also addressing areas for improvement. By understanding their impact on others, leaders can adjust their behavior and make more informed decisions.

Building Trust

Trust is the foundation for successful leadership and the Johari window provides leaders with a framework to build trust by fostering open and honest dialogue. As leaders share more about themselves, including their values, intentions, and fears, team members feel more connected and comfortable. This mutual sharing deepens trust and encourages team members to reciprocate by sharing their own perspectives and experiences.

Increased Self-Confidence

The Johari window enables leaders to gain a clear understanding of their strengths and capabilities. As leaders become aware of their hidden talents and receive feedback on their positive attributes, their self-confidence grows. This increased self-confidence allows leaders to take risks and inspire their teams to achieve ambitious goals.

Conflict Resolution

The Johari window facilitates effective conflict resolution for leaders by promoting open communication and understanding of diverse perspectives. This model encourages empathy and active listening, enabling leaders to identify common ground, facilitate compromise, and foster stronger relationships within their teams.


By exploring and embracing the Johari window model, leaders can tap into their full potential, promote open and honest dialogue, and create a culture of transparency, trust, and collaboration. These benefits extend beyond individual leadership effectiveness and positively impact team dynamics, employee engagement, and overall business outcomes.

Other Resources

Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to improving your effectiveness as a leader by using the Johari Window model.

To further enhance your knowledge and help advance your career, CFI recommends the following resources:

Also, see our courses on Leading with Emotional Intelligence and Self-Awareness and Having Difficult Conversations and Managing Conflict

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