How Big is Your Blind Spot?

Published on 20 May 2010 by Kelly Riggs in Interviewing Iq option IQ Options instagram iqoption

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johari window 280x300 How Big is Your Blind Spot?The “Johari window” (pronounced Joe-HAWR-ee) is a psychological model that was created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in the 1950s to help people better understand their interpersonal relationships. It’s a pretty simple model, but profound in helping individuals understand how they are perceived by others – and how that perception varies from one’s own perception.

The quadrants (see graphic) are as follows:

  • What is known by self and known by others (public arena)
  • What is known by self but unknown by others (private arena)
  • What is known by others but unknown by self (blind spot)
  • What is unknown by self and unknown by others (unknown arena)

The two key quadrants for any individual are the two that are “unknown by self.” These quadrants would illustrate what  someone means when they say, “I don’t know what I don’t know.” If other people know it or observe it, however, this is described as your blind spot – what other people see in you that you don’t see in yourself.

As you mature, one of your objectives is to make your blind spot as small as possible. In other words, you want to have a high degree of self-awareness. At some point in time, you have probably heard someone described as having no “social awareness,” meaning they say or do things in public that are out of place. Typically, they have little awareness of the issue.

How does this apply in your job search? Simple. The smaller your blind spot – in other words, the higher your self-awareness – the more mature you will be perceived, and the more accurate you will be in representing yourself. The problem with many interview questions is that you cannot answer them from an outsider’s viewpoint – you can only answer them as you have awareness of the topic. For example, an interviewer may ask, “What is your biggest weakness?” Really?? Like I would know? My biggest weakness is probably the one I am not aware of!

My suggestion is to talk to three or four people you can trust and have a discussion about your “blind spot.” Start this way: Use the table of words below and have them pick out six or seven words that best describe you, while you independently pick out the six or seven words you think best describe you. Then compare.

  • The words you both pick are in your public arena.
  • The words you pick and the other person doesn’t are in your private domain.
  • The words the other person picks and you don’t occupy your blind spot.

Don’t rush to defend yourself or explain the other person’s observations. Instead, ask for details; ask how you might improve. Then use that knowledge to make yourself a better candidate.

Johari Window Word Choices

able accepting adaptable bold brave
calm caring cheerful clever complex
confident dependable dignified energetic extroverted
friendly giving happy helpful idealistic
independent ingenious intelligent introverted kind
knowledgeable logical loving mature modest
nervous observant organized patient powerful
proud quiet reflective relaxed religious
responsive searching self-assertive self-conscious sensible
sentimental shy silly spontaneous sympathetic
tense trustworthy warm wise witty

One Response to “How Big is Your Blind Spot?”

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