Open that Window!
The Johari Window is a communication model that can be used to increase situational awareness and can improve the effectiveness of pre-job briefings, JHA/JSA and post- job lesson learned sessions.
The Johari Window is a Four Quadrant Grid
Open Area (Quadrant 1)
This quadrant represents the things that everyone knows about the job/task. This includes known hazards, needed tools, the progression of the task, equipment issues and problem/concerning areas and team member task, etc. This is the most commonly, and easiest documented portion of a JHA/JSI.
Blind Area (Quadrant 2)
This quadrant represents things not everyone is aware of, but that are known by others. This can include simple information (for example required PPE) that not all of the Team members know. The discussion and documenting of these points prior to starting a task can aid in increased safety and productivity.
Hidden Area (Quadrant 3)
This quadrant represents things that an individual will know, however, the Team as a whole doesn’t know. This one is a little more difficult, due to Team members’ reluctance to express knowledge/experience or potential personal gaps of knowledge. Examples could go from having done the job before and knowing potential issues, to reluctance to share personal issues (a fear of heights, not feeling well, not having the skill sets to accomplish certain tasks, lack of sleep, etc.).
Unknown Area (Quadrant 4)
This last quadrant represents things that are unknown by all. This area will likely become obvious during the course of the task/job. It is important that when obstacles/issues develop that everyone is informed and a solution is developed and communicated with all prior to moving forward. This area is the least often documented and communicated and represents the greatest opportunity for loss. Failure to correct, communicate and document only increases the likelihood of reoccurrence and has a measurable effect on the efficiency of the Team.
Goal of the Johari Window
The ultimate goal of the Johari Window is to enlarge the Open Area. The more your Team knows the safer and more productive, cooperative, and effective they’ll be while working together.
The process of enlarging the Open Area quadrant is called “disclosure,” and it’s a give-and-take process that takes place between everyone on the Team and potentially others you’re interacting with. As you share information, the Open Area expands vertically and the Hidden Area gets smaller. As the Team provides feedback about what they know or see the Open Area expands horizontally, and the Blind Area gets smaller. Done well, the process of “give-and-take", sharing, and open communication builds trust and increases safety, productivity and efficiency.
Teams with a large Open Area are ones that communicate openly, frequently, honestly, and they tend to get along well. Teams that have a very small Open Area have difficulty with communication. Often times they are closed off and uncommunicative, there-by compounding issues with safety, moral, and job efficiency.