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Self-Awareness: How do your peers see you differently than you see yourself?

Character CountsSelf-Awareness: How do your peers see you differently than you see yourself?

All leaders have blind spots–even the most self-aware among us. One way to locate these blind spots is to use the Johari Window, created by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham.

With Johari’s Window, you select 5 to 6 adjectives that best describe your personality from a pile of 56 options:

  • 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
  • smart
  • spontaneous
  • sympathetic
  • tense
  • trustworthy
  • warm
  • wise
  • witty

Next, your peers also select 5 to 6 adjectives that best describe you. Your selections and your peers’ are then placed into one of four quadrants/windows: Arena, Blind Spot, Unknown, and Facade.


This is the area where both you and your peers agree upon adjectives/qualities that best describe you. The more overlap you have here, the better. It means you are not only communicating  your values and beliefs well to others, but also acting upon them.

Blind Spot

Those adjectives selected by peers but not by you are placed in the Blind Spot. You may be surprised to learn how others see you. Knowing this information may help you lead yourself and others in the future.


This is the space for adjectives that weren’t selected by you or your peers. It doesn’t mean that these adjectives don’t apply to you entirely. It just means that these adjectives/qualities are not seen as much in you as other qualities.


Here you’ll find the qualities you believe you have, but which your peers don’t see. These are qualities that you may need to do a better job of disclosing to others.

Self-Awareness: Leading Self & Leading Others

Great leaders start with strong self-awareness. The more they know themselves, the better able they are at leading themselves and others. They show up consistently in terms of behavior and values, and, for this reason, others will be inclined to respect their leadership.

What are your blind spots? What might you be surprised to learn that others see in you? And what might you be hiding from them that you ought to reveal?

For more on the Johari Window, read this post.

About the Author

Gary Cohen is a highly-skilled Executive Coach, Leadership Author, Trainer, and International Keynote Speaker. His clients range from entrepreneurial CEOs of the nation’s fastest-growing companies to executives of global 100 companies. He differentiates himself from traditional (psycho/therapeutic) executive coaches by bringing a vast amount of business experience as a former Founder / President of one the Nation’s Fastest growing companies. He is the author of Just Ask Leadership: Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions (McGraw Hill). Gary B. Cohen Full Bio

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