Have you ever heard a song on the radio and then had that song stuck in your head the rest of the day?! You can’t shake it, and without warning you begin singing it quietly to yourself out loud. Pretty soon everyone around you has it stuck in their head as it spread like a melodic virus! Something like this happened to me a few week ago, except not with music, but an idea.
At our staff meeting one Monday morning, a church planter named Scot shared a personal development tool which divides our life into four quadrants. Ever since he shared these 4 quadrants, they’ve been stuck in my head like a song. I found out his 4 quadrants are based on something called the Johari Window. You can see the 4 quadrants below. Public
This first quadrant represents the things you know about you and everyone knows about you. This could include the color of your hair, number of your children, or what job you have.
This second quadrant represents your secrets. These are the things that you know about you that no one else knows. Everyone has secrets, but not all secrets are bad. Secrets can include our habits and hang ups, but can also include things about our past we don’t want others to know.
Our blind spots are those things everyone around us knows about us that we don’t know about ourselves. Everyone could know you talk too much or smell bad, but for some reason, you’ve never picked up on it. Everyone has blind spots.
These are the things you don’t know about yourself that no one else knows either. This could be considered your untapped potential. Are you a good public speaker? Who knows? Maybe you need to give it a try.
Our goal is to decrease our secrets and blind spots as we increase our public quadrant.
Minimize Your Secrets
When it comes to our secrets, we need to identify and then work on our habits and hang ups. The process of minimizing our secrets is another way of talking about developing our integrity. If we think of our life like layers of a cake, there shouldn’t be too many layers that people don’t know about.
This doesn’t mean everyone should know all our darkest secrets, but someone should. The devil loves to play in the dark! Our secrets are like an untreated wound. Left unattended they can lead to an infection that will affect our whole body. Someone should know the things you’re going through.
Uncover Your Blind Spots
Everyone has blind spots. But, what you don’t know about yourself could be hurting you- specifically your relationships, friendships, work, and leadership. Your blind spots will probably kill you as a leader faster than your secrets. If you’re always negative, always late, never follow through, or are exceptionally awkward, people might have trouble following you as a leader. (These are just a few examples)
There are numerous ways you can uncover your blind spots. Recently a friend of mine recommended taking a personality test to uncover your possible strengths and weaknesses. You can also ask God to help you uncover your blind spots. As you plan for an activity, think about what you struggle with the most? Or think about the things you’re the worst at. As you answer these questions, there’s a good chance you’re zeroing in on a bling spot. The final way you can uncover your blind spots is by asking a trusted friend or coworker. After finishing a project you could ask, “Is there anything I can do next time to make working on a project with me easier?” Asking these kind of questions can be intimidating, but you can’t change what you don’t know.
Besides working on our own blind spots, I think we also have a responsibility to help those we care about to work on theirs. I’m not saying we have a right to be rude or mean in the name of being helpful. Instead, I think people’s blind spots are like boogers hanging off their noses. If someone has a booger hanging off their nose, there’s the question of who will love that person enough to let them know. It’s the same with our blind spots. If someone consistently turns every conversation towards themselves, who will love them enough to let them know? It’s a huge booger hanging off their nose. Everyone sees it, but who will gently and kindly love them enough to let them know?
If we will minimize our secrets and decrease our blind spots, our quadrant should begin to look more like this: Verses:
I hope we can grow in our awareness of our blind spots and I think these 3 verses can help!
Psalm 141:5- Let a righteous man strike me, it is a kindness. It is oil on my head, my head will not refuse it.
Prov. 13:10- Pride only breeds quarrels. Wisdom is found in those who take advice.
Prov. 18:2- A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but only seeks to air his own opinion.