‘Johari Window’ Quadrant

‘Johari Window’ Quadrant

‘Johari Window’ Quadrant


1. Open/self-area or arena –In this quadrant, I may be well aware that I am comfortable taking risks, along with others. In this case, I would agree when people tell me I drive too fast or that I am impulsive because I know that about myself. 

2. Blind self or blind spot – Here, I would not see myself at all as a risk taker, even though most people think I am. In this case, I honestly don’t believe that I drive that fast or I really see myself as someone who thinks carefully before I act.

3. Hidden area or façade – In the lower left quadrant, I always drive the speed limit when someone else is in the car with me, but I speed big time when I’m by myself. If it’s just me, I make decisions quickly and on the fly, but when others are involved, I try to get their input before I act.

4. Unknown area – Finally, this quadrant is where the hidden potential lies. I may always drive the speed limit until one day when there’s an emergency. Or I may be the most methodical and cautious decision-maker until I’m faced with few options and little time.

Risk-taking is one example, but there are so many other traits, abilities, and actions that shape our safety behaviors. It all depends on our personal SafetyDNA®.

The Johari Window technique can help us see our behavior in a more complete way and can help us change certain unsafe behaviors that put us at risk. We cannot change what we are not aware of, and it’s also hard to change bad habits when they are hidden from others. In essence, we want to continuously shrink the size of our own blind, hidden, and unknown windows, and thereby increase the size of our ‘open’ window, so our safety behaviors can be more open to ourselves and others.

But what can we do to apply this model to our safety behavior? Here are a few simple ways:

  1. Seek feedback from others. Ask others who are close to you to give you honest feedback on your safety behaviors. Ask them to tell you when they see you doing something unsafe or when they hear you say things that are not in line with how you see yourself when it comes to safety. This will help to shrink your ‘blind’ window.
  2. Take a psychological assessment to find out your SafetyDNA. There are a few well-vetted psychological assessments out there that can tell you how you are mentally ‘hard wired’ when it comes to safety. It’s more than just risk-taking. A well-designed online assessment can also tell you things like how you think about rules, how aware or distractible you are, or how well you can stay calm under pressure – all key parts of a person’s SafetyDNA profile.
  3. Open up about your behavior. If you know you do things that put you or others at risk, challenge yourself to share that with someone. Whether it’s texting and driving or taking shortcuts on safety procedures, share that with someone you trust and encourage them to ask you how it’s going with that habit. You’d be surprised what transparency and accountability can do in terms of reducing your ‘hidden’ window of behaviors.
  4. Monitor yourself. By increasing your self-awareness and looking out for how you react in different situations, you can find out more about your ‘unknown’ self and shrink the size of that window as well. You may be capable of things you did not know, and these could be good or bad in terms of safety.

While not commonly used in workplace safety efforts, the Johari Window can help anyone analyze and manage their safety behaviors. This will help you shrink the size of your blind, hidden, and unknown windows which, in turn, will increase the size of your open window. That will put you on a path toward improving workplace safety.

Dr. M Blatstein

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