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How's your feedback?

May 21, 2012

Feedback—it’s something we often don’t think about, but is important to the development of our business, both in communicating internally with our employees and externally with our clients.  

The Johari Window, developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, is a model that’s been around since the 1950s. It focuses identifying how to improve understanding between two individuals. The model aims to increase the awareness of the importance of disclosure of information or feedback.
















How it works

The Johari Model has four quadrants. When preparing to use the model, think about an “individual” you interact with. This could be an employee or a client. The model works on a scale of 1 to 100. The vertical line represents how much feedback you solicit from the individual while the horizontal line represents how much feedback you give to the individual. The four quadrants represent the following:

1.    Shared universe: This is where you and the individual both share the same information.  
2.    You are blind: This is the information the ‘individual’ knows but that you don’t—rendering you blind.
3.    They are blind: This is the information you know that the individual doesn’t.
4.    Unknown: This is what you and the individual are both blind too.

The ultimate goal is for quadrants 2, 3 and 4 to become as small as possible.

How to use it

The Johari model can be applied to just about any situation in business. The two most common applications include:

1.    Client development
2.    Employee development

By applying the Johari model, you can begin to focus on communication with your clients. Giving and receiving feedback will not only help you provide better services, but a more open dialog can also open up other opportunities with your clients.

Start by selecting your top five clients or five of your employees. Apply the model to each of them to see how well you think you are doing. No one needs to see this but you, so be honest with yourself.

Once you have completed the model on your selected individuals, look at each individually and determine how you can widen your shared universe by identifying ways to solicit feedback or give feedback.

This exercise is a simple way to increase your communication, improve your internal efficiencies and build deeper relationships with your clients.

Sarah Johnson is the chief growth strategist with Inovautus Consulting, a firm that works with CPA, law and professional service firms to help them grow more effectively, and author of “Practical Ideas for Growth,” a blog dedicated to growing professional firms. Her counsel and strategies have helped move firms to the next level in their marketing and sales efforts. Connect with Sarah at 773-208-7170,, or


Comments (1)
Two great articles along these same lines are:


What clients complain about the most concerning their accountant.
Posted by aslbamawoman | Monday, May 21 2012 at 10:29PM ET
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