Home Concepts Communication The New Johari Window: Exploring the Unconscious Processes of Interpersonal Relationships and the Coaching Engagement

The New Johari Window: Exploring the Unconscious Processes of Interpersonal Relationships and the Coaching Engagement

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While these profound experiences of the numinous can provide us with great personal insight through the movement of Quad Four material into consciousness, these experiences can also be quite confusing with regard to the ultimate source of Quad Four material. Internal Quad Four material (Q4-I) is revealed through and often reflected in the external world. We see things out in the world only when they are first manifest in our internal world. At a mundane level, I see hybrid cars everywhere only after I have bought one myself. At a more profound level, that which I choose to value most in my life (my internal life) manifests a glowing presence when I discover that which I value out in the world (the external life). When my wife enters a room, the room seems to “light up,” as it does when one of my children or grandchildren enters the room. Moments when my own teaching seems to be working take on a magical quality—the room seems to take on a golden quality that I can not readily describe. I find that a particularly skillful performance of a symphonic work that I greatly value similarly yields a glowing visual presence. I suspect that I am not alone in witnessing these numinous experiences in my life. That which I value internally is under my control. That which represents my values out in the world is not under my control, but is perceived in a particularly distinctive and emotionally charged manner by myself.

Quad Four and Synchronicity: In some of his more esoteric work, Carl Jung writes about a phenomenon that he calls “synchronicity.”(Jung, 1960) This refers to an “acausal” relationship between two or more events—meaning that events occur in a simultaneous manner that reveals something about the meaning and even purpose of each of these events, without these events in any way being causally connected to one another. Clearly, this form of synchronicity is evident in the interplay between internal Quad Four material regarding personal values and the “glowing presence” of an experience in the outer world that is aligned with these personal values. The internal value does not cause the external glow, nor does the external experience create the internal value; yet, the external event can enhance one’s own awareness, understanding and appreciation of the internal Quad Four values. Internal and external forces can metaphorically “dance” together without one causing the other.

Jungians would offer a further suggestion regarding ways in which Quad Four material can come into conscious awareness. Awareness of Quad Four material can come through an intermediary—namely another person. As Maria von Franz (1964, p. 168) notes:

When an individual makes an attempt to see his shadow, he become aware of (and often ashamed of) these qualities and impulses he denies in himself but can plainly see in other people—such things as egotism, mental laziness, and sloppiness; unreal fantasies, schemes, and plots; carelessness and cowardice; inordinate love of money and possessions—in short, all the little sins about which he might previously have told himself: ‘That doesn’t matter; nobody will notice it, and in any case other people do it too.’

Thus, an unacceptable sense of oneself is often projected onto another person and only reclaimed as an aspect of one’s self under conditions of substantial interpersonal trust and support.

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