Last week, I got some totally unexpected, utterly lovely feedback from two of my colleagues: that I had something about me that made people happy to see me coming and that I was one of their favourite people at work. It was so apropos of nothing that I asked them suspiciously what they wanted. Ha!
They also told me that I was really good at persuading people to do things they didn’t want to do. We had a good laugh about that – I don’t think I’ve ever thought about myself in that way before.
Reflecting on the encounter, it occurred to me that the Johari Window might be quite useful in illustrating these different awareness spaces and perspectives.
The Open space is the part of ourselves accessible both to us and to others. Our Blind space contains the things that others see but we are unaware of, at least consciously. We keep certain aspects Hidden from others. And finally, there are, as Rumsfeld opined, the unknown unknowns – the Unconscious parts of us that neither ourselves nor others may realise are there.
There are, I think, some interesting discussions to be had around how it may benefit us to bring things across from the Hidden space to the Open arena. How much of a role does transparency and authenticity play in the trust that people are willing to place in us?
And on the other side of the window – our blind spot might contain some happy revelations, but also some unpalatable truths. How can, or should, we profitably use others’ honest opinions of us?
– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd