judytuna posted a link to a Johari window, this thing with which she can evaluate what her principle traits are (“happy”, “introverted”, etc.) and have friends do the same. The idea is that the traits can then be divided into four quadrants: (1) known to everyone (2) known to her friends but not to her (“blind spots”) (3) known to her but not her friends (“facades”) (4) ones not selected by anyone (“unknowns”).
I was really excited by this at first, as I had long been thinking about a similar tool for self-evaluation. Imagine you want to make yourself a better person. You have some imperfect view of yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. Maybe some aspects of the view are accurate, but undoubtedly not all of them are. In fact, you may not even be aware of what your greatest flaws are (especially if one of them is “lack of self-awareness” ;). So it may be hard to rectify them.
Of course, your friends have some other incomplete view of you, but one that’s arguably more important. Many of the traits with which you might describe yourself really only make sense in the context of how others perceive you. That is, maybe you think you’re nice, but if others don’t then functionally you’re not. So wouldn’t you like to find out how you’re actually perceived? I’m curious, at least…
However, there are two key problems with Johari windows:
- The traits are all positive or neutral. Negative traits would be the most helpful.
- The results are not anonymous. You can see how everyone else rated you, and they can see what you thought of yourself, as well as what each other thought. This obviously undermines the integrity of the test, especially if the traits are negative: people are much more likely to say the bad stuff anonymously.
So I’m thinking of making my own website that has an anonymous version of the test, perhaps with some modifications to allow for greater expressivity, with a broader range of traits. Would you take it?
[ I did some web research and found out that there are “Nohari windows” too, ones that have only negative traits. Still, we need anonymity. ]