As a nurse, dealing with physically and/or mentally ill patients requires a great deal of patience and understanding. However, before a person can understand and empathize with others, he or she must first know himself or herself. The process of knowing ones own principle, beliefs, feelings, personality, strengths, weaknesses, preconceptions, attitudes and responses in different situations is called self awareness. Discerning ones own capabilities and limitations allow a nurse to consider, observe and pay attention to the bizarre or subtle reactions of clients.
Self-awareness gives the nurse a skill in establishing relationships with clients of different values, beliefs, attitudes and principles. This is achieved by the nurse’s utilization of aspects in his or her personality, values, feelings and coping skills commonly known as the therapeutic use of self.
Johari window is a psychological tool used to develop self-awareness and promote better relationshipsamong people. It was created by two American Psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955. The word “JOHARI” comes from the first names of its developers Joseph and Harry (Joharry). It is also known as “disclosure or feedback model of self awareness.”
Utilizing this tool creates a portrait of someone; this is done by giving the person a psychosocial exercise. A list of 56 adjectives is given to the subject and he or she is instructed to choose five or six words that best describe him or her. The same list is given to the subject’s peers, friends and colleagues. These people will also choose 5 or 6 adjectives that best describe the subject. After the test, the answers are mapped, compared and categorized in four areas. The four areas are as follows:
Quadrant 1: Open Arena or Public self
- These pertain to the qualities known to others and the subject himself.
- If quadrant 1 is the longest, it means that the subject is open to others and has gained self-awareness.
- If this area is the shortest, the subject shares little about him or her.
Area or Quadrant 2: Blind spot or Blind Area
- These refer to the subject’s attributes that are unknown to him but are known by his or her peers.
Area or Quadrant 3: Hidden or Private self
- The things that the subject knows about himself.
Area or Quadrant 4: Unknown
- An empty quadrant which symbolizes the qualities undiscovered by the neither the subject nor others.
The success of the test depends on the honesty of the opinions given. A person is represented with little insight if quadrants 1 and 3 have the smallest adjective listed. The main goal the subject is to work towards moving the qualities from quadrants 2, 3, and 4 to the first area.
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