As a business owner, the leader of your business, your self-awareness and openness with your team sets the tone for openness in your entire organization. This doesn't mean you have to share every little detail of your life. It does mean you have to practice openness and vulnerability, as well as authenticity with your team.
Today we’re exploring the Open Area of the JoHari Window, what it represents and how to leverage it for the benefit of your team and your bottom line.
To review, the JoHari Window is a self-awareness and team awareness tool made up of four quadrants. Each quadrant represents information regarding the individual and whether it is known or unknown by self or others. On an individual level, it provides a clarity regarding who you are and how you are viewed by others, as well as your impact on those around you.
When we work in an area of open activity, each of us has a shared body of knowledge about self and others. We work from a place of trust, safety, good communication and cooperation. We avoid mistrust, confusion, and misunderstandings because we understand and trust the others on our team. As a team develops, this open area becomes larger through the experience of working together.
When the leaders of the team model openness, the team naturally becomes more open individually with each other. Through providing a safe area for disclosure and sharing, team members learn more about themselves and others on the team. They learn where their teammates can contribute their highest and best work.
The Open Area becomes larger through disclosure, as individuals share answers to questions within the team. This opens up the hidden area, those things known to the individual, but not the group. The open area can also become larger by intentional feedback. In a trusting team, the individual gains knowledge of insights, experiences and the impact they are having on people around them.
Conflict Leads to Productivity
In a team consisting of members with large Open Areas and ever-growing self-awareness, even conflict is a place of productivity. Healthy conflict within an open and free team is viewed as the discussion point of differing perspectives and strengths, rather than a challenge to intellect and beliefs. Through productive conflict, better solutions and processes can be found, leading to higher levels of success.
Each of is responsible for building our own open area. As trust grows within a team, we can assist each other in developing larger open areas. It is critical to understand that we only assist another in this if they desire to grow in their own open area.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore the remaining areas of the JoHari window and ways to move information in the unknown area into the Open Area.
How would you draw your personal JoHari today? How could you move further into the Open Area?