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The Johari Window

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The Johari Window

Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 7.09.35 PM
Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 7.09.35 PM

How we see ourselves and how others see us can be in complete opposition. Many philosophers have debated who can know our self better - we from the inside, or others from the outside. As with everything, the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle.

The Johari Window, developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, has been around since the 1950's as "a graphic model for interpersonal relations".

How can it be useful to you?

It provides an overview of what you see, know, or believe to be true about yourself, and what others see, know, or believe to be true about you - including blind spots. In other words, it's an excellent gap analysis between what is and what you want to be.

The first quadrant is Public Knowledge - both you and others have access to that information. It'll still take some communication skills to ensure both have the same understanding or interpretation of what is known.

You can obtain input for the second quadrant by asking friends, colleagues, family, and strangers for feedback. Why strangers? Because they gain nothing by sugarcoating their perception. Remember, feedback is often autobiographical, so we have to consider the source and their personal experiences when we receive it, and try to filter out our own biases and projections when we offer it.

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Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 7.09.39 PM

Things you know but don't share with others populate the third quadrant. Some items may stay in there forever, some may be shared via services like and still remain somewhat anonymous. If you decide to share what was once private, of course that knowledge wanders into the first quadrant of public knowledge. Yes, there is movement between the items.

The fourth quadrant holds the space for all those things that may be pre-conscious, i.e. in the portions of your unconscious mind that can be probed, examined, and reflected. In coaching and counseling clients often describe "a-ha!" moments where something that was never quite clear, but lurking under the surface, suddenly pops into awareness. That piece of information then moves into the third quadrant, and possibly even the first if it's shared.

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Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 7.10.05 PM

The quadrants are dynamic, and they have different sizes for different personality types and people from different cultures. For example, people with preferences for extraverted Feeling tend to be comfortable sharing their own personal experiences - to establish rapport with another person, or simply to share. Someone with preferences for introversion or introverted Thinking, for example, may play their cards much closer to their chest. Some people simply are inherently more private and will know a lot more about themselves than what they'll freely share with the outside world.

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Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 7.09.48 PM

By the same token, there may also be cultural differences in how open we are. People from the USA tend to be more versed in small talk than people from Germany. Personal information is more easily shared State-side than it is in Germany, so the "public arena" may appear to be larger by comparison.

Asking for Feedback

To get you started, pick out five to ten adjectives to describe you, e.g. from list below (positive/desirable or negative/undesirable ones, or an even mixture, see Wikipedia example below). Then share that list with your network to see which adjectives they pick for you.

Discrepancies will indicate where to shine your light, seek more feedback, discuss, or simply feel if it rings true. Then it is up to you to decide whether the feedback is something you'll consider as an opportunity for growth and learning, or whether you'd rather dismiss it.

To boost motivation and self-esteem in your team, consider asking colleagues to use any of the positive descriptors to describe other team members - anonymously. E.g. write the person's name on an index card, add the descriptors, and then collect all cards that describe Lisa or Tom and read them out. For a more low-key debrief, simply hand the cards to the corresponding person, and they can read them whenever they're having a bad day.

  • 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
  • incompetent
  • violent
  • insecure
  • hostile
  • needy
  • ignorant
  • blasé
  • embarrassed
  • insensitive
  • dispassionate
  • inattentive
  • intolerant
  • aloof
  • irresponsible
  • selfish
  • unimaginative
  • irrational
  • imperceptive
  • loud
  • self-satisfied
  • overdramatic
  • unreliable
  • inflexible
  • glum
  • vulgar
  • unhappy
  • inane
  • distant
  • chaotic
  • vacuous
  • passive
  • dull
  • cold
  • timid
  • stupid
  • lethargic
  • unhelpful
  • brash
  • childish
  • impatient
  • panicky
  • smug
  • predictable
  • foolish
  • cowardly
  • simple
  • withdrawn
  • cynical
  • cruel
  • boastful
  • weak
  • unethical
  • rash
  • callous
  • humourless

Image by Paolo S., Flickr, Creative Commons License.

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Daily Survival Kit


Daily Survival Kit

daily survival kit
daily survival kit

This is a gift we received at our last Toastmasters meeting, where the Toastmaster shared her New Year's resolution: She's going to pay it forward, and share any inspiration she receives with others.

The bag probably looks a little strange just from the photo, but here's what the card says:

Daily Survival Kit

TOOTHPICK to remind you to pick out the good qualities in others.

RUBBER BAND to remind you to be flexible, things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out.

BAND AID to remind you to heal hurt feelings - yours or someone else's.

PEN to remind you to make a list of your blessings every day.

ERASER to remind you that everyone makes mistakes, and it's ok.

CHEWING GUM to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything.

MINT to remind you that you are worth a mint!

CANDY KISS to remind you that everyone needs a kiss or a hug every day.

TEA BAG to remind you to relax daily and go over that list of blessings.

As you can see, I've taken her resolution on as my own - passing this on. Feel free to do the same! :-)

Image by magicatwork, Flickr, Creative Commons License.



Are you on Twitter yet?

twitter_bird_logo_by_ipotionI have mentioned my twitter updates before, and have now been told that just because someone is online reading blogs like this one doesn't mean they automatically have any idea of what I was talking about. In the words of Mel Gibson in Braveheart, "that is something we shall have to remedy, then." The premise of Twitter as I understand it is having a platform to communicate with like-minded people, sharing thoughts, business advice, promotions, recipes, links - whatever you wish, in the box called "What are you doing?" (see below)

Unlike when writing a blog, where you have unlimited space to give words to your thoughts and feelings, a so-called tweet is of 140 characters maximum (and believe me, those run out fast). This makes sharing your thoughts quick, concise, and to the point.

Kind of like a blog where you can allow readers to register with you and receive automatic update reports, twitter users may choose to "follow" you, i.e. see your updates on their twitter homepage. Likewise, when you decide to follow someone, their updates will make up the entries on your homepage (I've attached a screenshot of mine as an example).

Screen shot 2009-09-15 at 10.20.55 AM.png

As you'll see in the upper right-hand corner, I currently follow 199 people (who send multiple updates every day, so no, I don't read every single one of them), and 245 people currently follow me. I have sent 904 tweets (that's what they call the updates) by the date this screenshot was taken.

"Home" is where I see the tweets of those I follow, i.e. the above screenshot. Below where it says "@deesbtlyw" I can click on there to see who has mentioned me. When a tweet begins with @ it is usually a reply to one of that person's tweets (example screenshot below), whereas "RT" is short for "retweet" and means you've read this somewhere and thought it was so great that you want to share it with your followers, too. This is frequently used when you're praised by someone else, so an easy way to share short testimonials.

Screen shot 2009-09-15 at 10.30.29 AM.png

There is also the possibility to send direct, private messages, that do not appear in the public stream. Those are like emails, but again limited to 140 characters. Under "Favorites" you may earmark special tweets for easy finding. You will be familiar with the "Search" function, it does what it says, and below are "Trending Topics." Those are topics that the majority of twitterers are tweeting about, hot topics (on September 15th) are Patrick Swayze's death, you can imagine what that board looked like when Michael Jackson died, and I see Kanye West is still getting talked about after his outburst on the MTV awards on Sunday.

What's all this good for, then, except a bunch of self-involved eejits blabbering about what they had for dinner? Well, glad you asked! I can't speak for everyone, but I use this and other online media to introduce myself to potential clients. Some of you who read this blog may never want to hire my services, but if there is a person out there who would like to have the experience of coaching, be it in an expatriate or national lifestyle setting, I'm hoping they'll remember that I'm here and offer just that. By updating this blog and my twitter page, people have the chance to get to know me and read a bit about what's important to me in life. And that gives great clues as to what my philosophy is, and whether we'd click if we ever met. Coaching is a process that requires so much trust and respect, you see, that being on the same wavelength is a tremendous help. When people find me and contact me for coaching after having read my blog and twitter updates, I know that some form of pre-selection has already taken place. Because if you don't like what you read, you won't contact me, and that saves me from having a bad testimonial. Pretty nifty, right?

Still, Twitter is also a great way to spend time and stay ahead of the loop when it comes to e.g. Hollywood gossip. There are a number of celebrities online, and you can search for their names or directly type their twitter account addresses into your browser and hear what's happening from the horse's mouth. Many also share photos, and I think it's a great way for the ones who feel like sharing to get the truth (or at least their version of events) out there. We all know not all tabloid reporting can be trusted. Of course there's George Clooney, who allegedly decided he'd rather have a prostate exam on live TV by a man with really cold hands than a facebook page, so I'm guessing twitter is out for him, too. But here are some of his more tech-friendly and less trepidatious (is that a word or isn't it?) colleagues:,,,,,,,, and the list goes on.

That's it, in a nutshell! :-) You may view my updates here:, and whenever you're ready to create an account, let me know your address, and we'll be connected. I'd like that.

Til next week, have a good one! Thanks to iPotion for the image.

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Twitter Review

Yes, I'm one of the many who've joined in on the fun over at the micro-blogging site. Many bash it and call tweeters or twitterers names ("narcissist!" chief among them), and they may be right. There's no denying the status twitter has achieved among the public though, considering how recent events managed to collapse all sorts of servers, or the money and awareness that's being raised about a diversity of topics while you're reading this.

Here's a collection of 20 recent micro blog-posts (tweets) I shared. Some are questions, some are quotes or thoughts for the day, some ramblings. If there's an "@" involved, that may mean I'm replying to somebody. Adding an "@" before any screen-name/twitter moniker automatically links back to that person's collection of tweets. "RT" is equivalent to a "forward" in your email; letting other people know what somebody else has said that I find noteworthy. Oh, "following" someone means their new tweets are pushed into my "inbox" automatically. So far, so confusing? Alright then, in 140 characters or less, here we go:

  1. How much time does everyone spend on twitter/social media on an average work day? IOW, which % of your marketing strategy does it represent?
  2. Have you heard? 2009's "best companies for multicultural women," article here:
  3. Reading litemind and recommending it: Part 1.
  4. interview with @jerryweinberg about overcoming fear, permanent employment vs. consulting, client selection
  5. RT @J_Canfield: Coaching can help u maximize ur inner strength,channel ur energy & explore the true potential that u’ve always had inside u.
  6. I <3 Southwest RTAbsolute MUST READ "Top 5 reasons why 'The customer is Always Right' is wrong" (via @gwenbell)
  7. There are no good excuses,but in case you needed convincing: RT @MatadorNetwork: 6 Bad Excuses Not To Study Abroad
  8. Also: new blog post Thanks for comments!
  9. Dear new followers - bear with me, I'm not automating responses so the personal touch takes a little while. Know that you are loved! :-) Dee
  10. Best article on marriage. Honest, raw, fabulously written, lots of references. RT @gwenbell: RT @derekscruggs
  11. Dear Expats: FYI, the beeb is changing its international pages layout.
  12. Thought for the day: It doesn't matter how fast you go, as long as you're moving in the right direction.
  13. Another great #toastmasters meeting, 4 more new members adding their energy - ours is a fab club! Bed now, busy week ahead. Night tweets!;)
  14. more info in this book: RT NicoleSimonCaring for Your Introvert - The Atlantic (March 2003)
  15. "All of us feel like our aspirations are garbage sometimes." (roughly translated)
  16. any twitterer who went? what did you think? RT @expatsguide China's first Gay Pride event, organized by expats:
  17. Consultoría 2.0 enfoca en las personas; reflexión sin ejecución no sirve para nada. RT @PilarJerico Entrevista El Pais
  18. just watched and loved "The Anonymity Project - The Post Secret Effect"
  19. You gotta know your exit strategy from the start: @expatcoachmegan has this expat tip:
  20. Welcome to new followers @xlnation @KeanuFansWoah @Lucidology @Twitter_Tips @SOHP_com @DrJennifer @PaulaTeeter - nice to tweet you! :-)

You'll have to try and see if you like it and if it's worth your efforts. Beware that it may be so interesting to keep reading that you lose track of time. For me it's a great way to stay in touch with some of my friends, expand my professional network, and send quick notes when there's no time for a "proper" blog post. So, in case you don't want to wait til next weekend, come find and follow me on for daily tweets. :-)

Question:What are you looking for in my tweets?How will your time & attention best be served?Do you really read'em or is it about numbers?:) Cheers and have a good one! Dee xx

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