Tool Increases Understanding Between Employers, Employees

By decreasing the traits in their employees’ “blind spots,” employers can decrease unproductive behaviors.

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Managing employees with unproductive or self-defeating behavior can be a struggle. These employees are, for the most part, good workers and leaders who occasionally put a strain on their teams or companies. To solve the issue, employers need to make their employees aware of this behavior. In this month’s “About Your Business” column, Diversified Industrial Staffing President Todd Palmer describes a tool to help both employers and employees understand one another better—the Johari Window.

In the Johari Window exercise, an employee goes through a list of adjectives and selects the ones he or she believes to be most descriptive. Then the employee’s coworkers go through the same list and they select the adjectives they believe describe the employee best. The lists of adjectives are compared on a grid that shows which adjectives both the employee and coworkers chose, which adjectives only the employee choose, and which adjectives only the coworkers choose, as well as which adjectives neither choose.

The idea is that by expanding the list of adjectives both the employee and coworkers chose, the employee comes to a better understanding of himself or herself, and the other employees understand their coworker better as well. Read “Help Employees See Their Blind Spots” to learn more about this technique.