An important aspect of personal development is achieving or improving self-awareness, or the ability to assess yourself through introspection. This also includes knowing how people around you perceive your personality. A common tool for developing self-awareness is the Johari Window.

The Johari Window was developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingram, and is currently widely used as a good model for illustrating how a person interacts with others. The Johari Window has four panes, all of which contribute to forming a complete awareness of oneself. The four panes divide the process of self-awareness into the following facets: the open self, the hidden self, the blind self, and the unknown self. The lines that separate the panes from each other can be lifted or pushed like the shades of the window, as the person learns to improve the way he or she interacts with others.

So what does each of the panes signify?

The first, or the open pane, signifies the things about an individual’s personality that he or she knows, and that other people know about him or her. Examples of these are, of course, the individual’s name and publicly known interests, as well as relationships and behaviors. For a person who barely knows you, for example, the opening in this pane would seem to be very small, and would grow more as you interact with each other.


The second pane, also known as the blind pane, signifies things that an individual does not know about himself, but are known to others. These include, for example, attitude problems that others perceive but that you fail to see or acknowledge.

The third pane, or the hidden pane, signifies things that an individual knows about himself but that which others do not know. Under this pane are intimate and personal details like one’s favorite things to do alone, one’s favorite hideaway, and things of that nature.

Finally, the fourth pane represents the unknown pane. Under this would fall things that neither the individual nor the others around him know about. This, of course, can include information that the individual is in search for and which nobody knows yet.

Making a Johari Window that maps out your personality can lead to a new level of self-awareness and discovery. Remember though that when you embark on this exercise, you should be conscious about being honest with yourself.

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