Peer Coaching, Our Personal Blind Spots and Looking through the Johari Window

I am a believer in the value of peer coaching. I’m grateful to serve on the Board of three non-profit organizations where this is a central part of why they exist. In my experience, I’ve had tremendous growth personally when others know me better and I’m open to learn from them. One tool that describes the value of this process is the Johari Window. Now before you think, “Johari window, is Drew getting all new-age mystical on me?” The Johari window was created by two guys, named Joe & Harry [Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham] to help others better understand their relationship with themselves and others.
The basic premise is this. The more I share of myself and other get to know me, the smaller my blind spots, hidden (or facade) areas and the unknown are. Without these type of open relationships, Leaders are in a dangerous place because so few people have access to these windows. Their own perceptions of how things are become less able to be questioned, because they don’t see their blind spots. The facade or hidden areas become slippery slopes because they are able to live life with impunity to their personal preferences. Further, from my experience, the more we live in a facade, the closer we are to personal insanity. When who we are doesn’t line up with how we show ourselves, it is a dangerous place to be. And the other quadrant, the unknown stays large and unchecked when we don’t lean into these personal growth opportunities. All of us have experienced these pitfalls to one degree or another.

The principle I want to communicate regarding the Johari Window is the value of peers in our life. When we communicate with others, we increase our ‘open’ areas, decreasing the hidden quadrant. This allows us to grow in being vulnerable and authentic, which others through their reciprocation share with us, which decreases our blind spots. We all benefit from a larger open window.

Ready to learn from others? To be iron, sharpening iron?

If you are interested in leading missional movements in your city, I suggest you check out: GCM Collective
If you are a church communicator, look at: Conclave Sessions and the Center for Church Communicators: Local Labs.