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Windows 2015

The writer breaks down the popular Johari Window model to give us an insight on how to welcome 2015 with open windows

Adult or child alike, aren’t most of us, that too most of the time, fascinated by the ‘Window’? If we reflect on its role in our lives, be it while travelling by road, rail or even by air, don’t we prefer and clamour for the window seat? Isn’t the poetic description of eyes being windows of our souls, a familiar statement? Also, there must be something really ‘Micro soft’ (pun intended) which hooks most of us to the ‘Window’.

     The last edition of Business Goa had a very apt cover page ‘2014 a year of change’ and indeed there were radical and fundamental changes that took place in Goa and also at the national level.

     We are towards the closing of year 2014 and getting organized for the arrival of 2015. Best wishes to the Business Goa readers especially readers who follow his column. May the New Year 2015 bring in new opportunities to one and all.

     ‘Opportunity’ and ‘Doors’ have been quoted together since time immemorial. I understand the urge to be decisive in opening doors but what troubles me is our hesitation in opening the windows or being selective in opening only a few!

     Allow the breeze to flow in, let our vision stretch beyond the four walls of our room, sense the signals. Let us move from rhetoric New Year resolutions to opening our windows as we may see something unique, something new which could, and I am sure would, enlighten our journey of 2015 .

     Several years ago, Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham, renowned psychologists, worked on the concept of ‘Pyschological Windows’ that we all have inside us and these very windows connect us to others and the world around us. As a tribute to their research, the construct they built upon is popularly called as ‘Johari window’. I invite you all to reflect on it in depth and build on it as you gear up to bid adieu to 2014 and welcome 2015 with open windows.

     Like the windows we see in buses, trains, planes or our homes, our inner core also has windows – not one or two, but four psychological windows. Depending upon how much one is aware and comfortable to opening them, will impact the growth and development of an individual.

     The first window is known as the ‘OPEN’ window. It’s the window which has a bi-directional transparency. The second window is the ‘BLIND’ one. Here the transparency is uni- directional which implies that only others/outsiders can see inside. The third species is called the ‘HIDDEN’ window, which is also unidirectional in transparency and the difference here from the earlier one is that in this, you can see the outside world, but they cannot see you. The last window is called ‘UNKNOWN’ – this is opaque in nature and thus, obviously does not have any transparency.

     To open these windows, you need a key and that is in the form of asking the right questions. We generally get trapped in asking ‘HOW’ questions which can open only the first three windows because this question quickly takes us down the path of methodology and technique. It assumes the problem is one of what to do, rather than why to do it or whether it is worth doing? These questions are more appealing because they demand so little from us. They promise a world that is logical and predictable. They also externalize the problem and are focused on change from people who are not in the room. What’s more attractive is that they shrink the problem to manageable size by treating it as a matter of skills, rather than a question of purpose and the use of the power.

     But life treasures can be seen only when you open the fourth window. It needs to go ‘beyond How’ and the key to open the fourth window is the ‘Why’ questions as these questions have the true healing power and offer hope for authentic change. A social system is a living system and living systems are not controllable, but since we imaged ourselves and the world through bureaucratic, engineering and economic frameworks for its appealing face value, in the bargain we lost on commitment and accountability.

     There is lot in us which remains unexplored and also there is a lot about this earth and universe which is still unexplored. There is enough history to support this fact that all those who opened their fourth window experienced ‘Self Actualization’; they not only transformed themselves, but also the world around them.

     We need to choose depth over speed, consciousness over action, at least for a while. And doesn’t the onset of New Year build the mood for engaging into such life changing moments?

     Here are some keys to open the fourth window

  • What is the point of what we are doing?
  • What has to die before we can move to something new?
  • What is the real value of our product or service?
  • What personal meaning do people find in what we are doing?
  • What would happen if we do nothing?
  • What are the capacities and strengths that we are not using fully?
  • And what are we leaving for the next generation beyond a bank balance?

     Opening the fourth window requires faith and patience. If you look at the great leaders through history, you see a consciousness of their own limitations that enabled them to open their fourth window which ultimately open the doors to enlightenment. From Buddha and Christ, to Lincoln, Gandhi and Martin Luther King – all touched our lives because of their presence more than their position. They became archetypes for the right use of power and one source of their power was their own humility.

     Each window is nothing but a capacity and in a change process one of the crucial elements is the ‘Choice’ of windows. The first three windows namely ‘Open, Blind and Hidden’ have limited scope in terms of capacity and engagement due to its transparency which biases the opening. However, the fourth window, owing to its opaque nature, creates the required ‘tension and curiosity’ for engagement.

     Actually, the world provides events that force movement. Life provides the disturbances, we do not have to induce change or drive or guide it. All we have to do is join it. The fourth window will throw an ocean of possibilities and hidden talent too, when you open the door to welcome 2015. In addition, it will also need authenticity, the way we manage ourselves, the fact that we show up with a laptop, brief case, a resume is more of a function of habit than necessity. It will be enough if we simply show up and connect from the emotion rather than through technology alone and that my dear reader is the ‘heart’ of the matter. New Year is round the corner and it’s the appropriate time to value the power of engagement and dialogue with self and others

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