There’s this online personality perception assessment called “Johari Window”. It compartmentalizes the personality into quadrants: that which is know to oneself and others is the arena; that which is known to oneself but not to others is the façade, that which is known to others but not to oneself is the blindspot, and that which is known to neither oneself nor others is simply the unknown.
On the website, there’s a grid with all positive attributes. The participant chooses 5, then sends a link to whomever for additional feedback. The respondents have the option of including their names or replying anonymously. But why would anyone want to be anonymous about positive feedback? They probably wouldn’t, which leads me to the flip side of this tool…
There’s a criticism component of this assessment called “Nohari Window”, and it follows exactly the same process but uses personality flaws. I used the Johari version some time ago; I sent the link to several people whom I think really know me and have for some time. I did not use the Nohari window at first because I was perfectly fine handling my flaws with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. “I learned [a long time ago] never to ask a question I don’t want to know the answer to.”*
But I’ve just begun this series at work that asks for information that could be easily attained using these personality assessment tools, so I dug through my old emails to find the Johari responses, and then I sent out a link to the Nohari version. Again, I chose several people whom I’ve known for some time and in depth – there was some overlap. “You can be anonymous, if that’s more comfortable,” I said in the email. Oh, be careful what you wish for...
Now I know I asked for this, but I didn’t think it would really affect me. (Apparently I’m an idiot.) It was sobering enough choosing 5 flaws on my own ("idiot" was not in my top 5); then to see some of those confirmed by others was a trip. At least I could argue that I was self aware, right? But the blindspot category really gave me a gut check because those are aspects that others see in me that I don’t. Only 2 people have responded so far, and I'm considering sending it out to even more folks. (What can I say? “I’m an emotional cutter”.**)
I’m so glad that I suggested the anonymous response because my discomfort disappears when I close the site window. The anonymity allows the respondents to say what they feel; it lets me benefit from terse and constructive criticism, and nobody’s tires have to suffer in the process. (I kid! I kid!) So as soon as I stop playing gumshoe,***I’ll begin to work on the flaws in my blindspot. Or maybe I’ll just keep the Johari baby, and chuck the rest of this bathwater.
* Darius Lovehall, Love Jones
** Carrie Bradshaw, Sex in the City
***Dull? Seriously? Who said that? What do I have to do, bungee jump?
images procured from the internet. just google "self perception" and "schizophrenia" - but not together. who knows what may pop up!)