Johari Window and Language Communication Business Essay

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In modern society, people can not survive without using language. However, language is like a sword with two edges. On one hand, it is of good advantages; on the other hand, it may cause conflicts and may cause the people fail to achieve effective communications. Especially in the enterprise managing business, good managers often have to use good communicative skills and principles to make good management push their companies to develop successfully which is the ultimate goal of managing. As for the realization of the good management, it is closely depend on the managers' language communicative competence. This essay examines the relationship between management and effective communication, and tries to draw a conclusion of the use of language communicative competence based on Johari Window in enterprise managing. Keywords: language, language communicative competence, effective communication, Johari Window, management.

1. Introduction

Language is the way for human communication, and reflects the high level of modern human civilization. Besides, language communication refers to the process which people use the language to express the meaningful information among others. In daily life, people can not survive without any connection of the others, and the communication must be efficient and meaningful so that the good communicative skills are badly required. Unfortunately, this is not so easy at all for most of the people in modern society due to the highly connected relationships with others. The way for people to convey efficient communication is kind of research which involves plenty of language communicative knowledge including communicative principles, strategies, etc. As for this, some scholars have done so many researches on the people's language communicative competence in all kinds of areas. Take the Johari Window as an example, Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, the famous scholars, had done the study of language communication, they proposed a window concept model focusing on how to achieve effective communication and this model is known as Johari Window later.

It is also should be known that, in the modern business management, the excellent supervisors convey good human relations through the use of appropriate language communicative strategies and the principles with subordinates , and this have so much to do with the communicative model--Johari Window. Therefore, if we take the language communication, Johari Window model and enterprise managing altogether into the consideration; or briefly, we can put the language communication in use in enterprise managing; and thus making the managers' language communicative competence become the key point of the their managing efficiency.

This will be a new research of the linguistics as well as a new study of the enterprise managing. Based on the Johari Window model and language communicative knowledge, this paper focuses on the above aspects, and shows the use of language communicative competence under the Johari Window to achieve effective communication and finally achieve the good management in enterprise managing business. The aim of this article is to explain the essential and distinct features of the language communication, and I will emphasize on those features of language that are related to social communication and enterprise managements. Focusing on "What is language communication?", "What is Johari Window and how can it be explained and used?" and "How the effective management is achieved by using language communication based on Johari Window in enterprise managing business?" ,this paper is a dramatic trial for the new study of language communication.

2. Johari Window and language communication

2.1. Language and language communication

2.1.1. The mastery of language

Firstly, when we talk about language communication, the top priority is the mastery of language, for language mastery serves as the essential powerful means of interacting with one another. People who want to achieve effective communication must acquire the language first and so it is with the managers in all the enterprises. No matter how powerful the managers are, they can not avoid communicating with their employers by using language. Thus requiring him or her must be a good language learner as well as a good language speaker. The mastery of language requires people have the basic knowledge of the language they use, which means they have to the rules of how to use language correctly. As for managers, they must be capable of speaking their official language. Suppose the managers are in China at present, so the mastery of standard Chinese - Mandarin or "Putonghua" is a must for those managers who want to use their language competence to win their subordinates' trust and support.

2.1.2. The language communicative object

Of course, the mastery of language just the basic element and the first step of the language communication .When communicating with others, we have to take "Who are we taking with?" into consideration, which is the reason why the "language communicative object" should be the key factor. So in enterprise managing businesses, managers should pay due attention to their communicative objects: their supervisors, their colleagues, their subordinates, and of course their partners. What managers should be mindful is that addressing wisely when greeting or starting conversations with others. In the first place, managers would better to address others according to their positions and identities. Addresses like "Master Li", "Sir or Madam", "Miss", "Lao Zhang" are used when communicating with them. Secondly, managers also should notice whether the people are educated or not when they are communicating. As for the educated people, paying enough attention to the dictions is considered to be wise, and managers may gain their reputation by speaking politely. However, if the managers have noticed that the people who they are going to talk with are not educated, choosing to use plain words is the best option for managers to gain others' good first impression on themselves.

2.1.3. The purpose of language communication

Generally speaking, the purpose of communication is to send your message effectively to the receivers or listeners. Communication links people who believe in a common cause, together with a view to strengthen relationships. To be more specific, the managers want to achieve the following goals in enterprise managing business. Give orders or assignments, maintain good relationships with colleagues as well as subordinates, enhance the bond of team spirits, improve the working efficiency, and finally achieve good management, which are all the products of the effective language communications between the managers and co-workers.

2.2. Johari Window

As a matter of fact, in enterprise managing business, it is not easy at all to achieve effective communications between managers and their co-workers. All these have to rely on the effective communicative theory the Johari Window Model.

2.2.1. Origin of Johari Window

The Johari Window is a creative model of language communication and interaction. It comes from the first names of Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham who created it. Like the happy centipede, many people get along well working with others, without thinking about which foot to put forward. But when there are obstacles, when the usual methods do not work, and when we want to achieve effective communications, there is no other optional choice for us to make but to examine our own behaviors in relation to others. The top issue is that, among other things it is so hard to find ways of thinking about such matters, particularly for people who have no extensive background knowledge in the social sciences. When Harry Ingham and Joseph Luft first presented the Johari Window Model to illustrate relationships in terms of awareness(at Western Training Laboratories , in 1955), they were surprised to find so many people , academicians and nonprofessionals alike , using and tinkering with the model . It seems to lend itself as a heuristic device to speculating about relations.

2.2.2. Explanation of Johari Window

The model employs a chart with regions that illustrate four levels of informational exchange between individuals. It is simple to visualize the four regions which represent the Johari Window Model. The underlying concept of the Johari Window is that the open area, or two-way communication enhances interpersonal effectiveness. And when information is mutually held and freely exchanged, organizational productivity will increase. (The brief chart of the Johari Window Model) And the four regions are described as follows. The Region I : the Arena. This region represents information that is known by oneself and known by others or we can say the information is mutually held and exchanged without any obstacles. The Arena is the most productive area in which people can operate within an organization. The larger this region is, the more effective, productive, and mutually beneficial interpersonal relationships can become. The managers who care about team work productivity and efficiency will take steps to enlarge this region to the fullest extent. The Region II : the Blindspot. This region of the chart represents information that is known by others rather than oneself. Blind spot occurs when we fail to pay close attention, or are purposely kept out of the information resource loop. Whatever the cause is, our blind spot area can prevent us from taking needed actions timely or from understanding the purposes of others.

Our informational blind spot can reduce our effectiveness at work, even delaying or ruining our career progress. Managers or leaders should be mindful of information dissemination among everyone in the work place, recognizing that those people who are out of the information resource loop can not be maximally efficient or productive. The Region III: The Façade. This region represents information that is known by oneself but not known by others. This information that could be useful to others in the organization but we may purposely withhold it sometimes, either because we wish to wield power over others by carving out an advantage for ourselves, because we fear that others might use the information to increase their advantages or to increase our disadvantages, or because we simply misperceive the importance to the team of our sharing information with others. Managers must be mindful of hoarded or unshared information in the enterprise organizations. Maximizing organizational progress requires free flow information among all the players in the same group-the enterprises.

The Region IV: the Unknown. This region represents information that is not known by oneself and others. This represents the collective "Blindspot" for everyone in the organization. Potentially useful information that is not known by anyone in the organization is the stuff of which unpredicted breakthroughs could be made if one certain key information were known and acted upon. If the leader wants to keep the enterprise successful and moving ahead of the other competitors, the competition of new information and knowledge by all individuals within the organization and dissemination of that information and knowledge should be transferred into the first region - the Arena. Open communication is the key to effective leadership and good management. In terms of the Johari Window Model presented here, this means the managers have to enlarge the Arena to the fullest extent, simultaneously closing down the other three regions of the Johari Window which are less productive.

2.3. Language communication based on Johari Window

2.3.1. The enlargement of the Arena in Johari Window

Communication plays a vital role in the success of every organization, successful managers in giant enterprises always build their team that attract people who want to have a dreamful career prospects. And communication just like the glue that holds the team members in the enterprises together. Besides, highly effective communication is a powerful factor in determining a manager's good management and in shaping the quality of subordinate practices. One way to achieve this is to develop the Developer style, gaining others' trust and getting mutual information shared. Managers' excellent interpersonal communicative skills are required if we want to achieve effective communication of which the Arena is the highlight. A develop manager has a larger Arena, which making him the communicative expert who has the highest level of self awareness and mutual understanding. The realization of the enlargement of the Arena requires managers to change their communication styles. In the open area for both sides or in the Arena, managers can not be more efficient in communicating and managing only when they have the fullest extent of the Arena.

2.3.2. The elimination of the barriers

According to the Johari Window model, the efficient way for managers to achieve highly effective communication should be the enlargement of the Arena. As for this, managers have to figure out ways to shrink the other three regions: the Blindspot, the Façade, and the Unknown. And the shrinking of the other three less productive and effective regions takes two important steps. On one hand, the managers have to expose what they have already known to their subordinates. This is so called self-exposure which means the managers give their information to others purposely and this information can not be gained from any other ways. In this way, the open area or the Arena of the managers is enlarged, at the same time the listeners are being encouraged to know more information. On the other hand, the managers have to get feedback from others. The aim of getting feed back is to form self awareness which shows the connection with others. By doing this, managers can form a better understanding of themselves and also they can know more about what their subordinates or co-workers need. In a nutshell, the Johari Window is a very simple communication model. However, this very simple model is like a Magic Cube, although it is simply built, yet it functions unpredictably. Managers know how to play this "Magic Cube" will achieve highly effective management without any trouble.

3. Language communicative competence based on Johari Window in enterprise managing

Having discussed the operational mechanism about the Johari Window, managers also have to pay much attention the cultivation of language communicative competence based on the Johari Window if they want a successful management. Being the key factor of the efficient management model, the cultivation of the managers' language communicative competence based on the Johari Window in enterprise managing business make it possible for managers to conduct their good management.

3.1. Purpose of language communication in management

From some certain angle, we can see that there are communication goals, an intangible chain for management, in the enterprise management. Talking about the intangible chain-the purpose of language communication in management, what the managers really care about are the incoming results and conditions. Generally speaking, it refers to the mission of the enterprises which the managers want to accomplish in the last place. As for enterprises managers, they are urged to achieve the effective communication with subordinates, and the final goal is to accomplish the management progress successfully. Giving orders or assignments, maintaining good relationships with colleagues as well as subordinates, enhancing the bond of team spirits, improving the working efficiency are all considered to be the basic purposes, and the final purpose is the realization of good management. Therefore, as the middle part of the enterprise managing, language communication purpose in management leads managers the way to accomplishing missions. At the same time, the purpose of language communication also means the function of motivating the subordinates or co-workers to make the entire enterprise working efficiently.

3.2. Principles of language communicative competence

In daily enterprise managing activities, language communication is dispensable for managers. A successful and effective communication requires managers not only to know what they are going to say, but also requires managers know how to say their words in an appropriate way, for there is a word goes like this" The bare facts of conversation come alive only in a mutually accepted , pragmatically determined context."(Jacob.2001). Managers who want to convey a successful and efficient communication have to start their communications with their subordinates according to certain language communicative principles.

3.2.1. The cooperative principle

The Cooperate Principle raised by the American scholar H. Paul Grice is an important pragmatic principle, which consists of four maxims: the maxim of quantity; the maxim of quality; the maxim of relation; and the maxim of manner. As for the maxim of quantity, it requires that speakers should make contribution as informative as is required and also should avoid making their contribution more informative than is required. As for the maxim of quality, it means that speaker should not say what they believe to be false or to say that they lack adequate evidence. As for the maxim of relation, it means that speakers should say things that are relevant to their topics. As for the maxim of manner, it requires that speakers should be perspicuous by avoiding obscurity, ambiguity, unnecessary prolixity, and should be orderly. Based on the communication in enterprise managing, the Cooperate Principle is an important principle that governs a successful communication.

3.2.2. The politeness principle

A successful communication needs the cooperation of two sides both the speakers and the listeners, while only with cooperative principle that is not enough. Leech, a scholar, raised another principle-- the politeness principle to explain why people sometimes should talk indirectly and to show their real purposes. In enterprise managing business, it is of great importance for the managers to use politeness principle to achieve effective communication. The politeness principle raised by Leech is generally considered to be made up of six maxims: tact maxim, generosity maxim, approbation maxim, modesty maxim, agreement maxim, sympathy maxim. As for the tact maxim, it means that speakers have to reduce causing loss for others. e.g. A, manager, wants to borrow the car from B, the subordinate. A: Will you come out this afternoon? B: No, I don't. A: I have a meeting with my friend and I may need your car, so I want to borrow your car for a moment, may I? B: No problem. From the conversation we can see the good use of the tact maxim in communication. It tells that the manager A wants to borrow B's car, and he uses "I may need AA" and "may I". Thus, the manager successfully accomplished his purpose easily and the subordinate B has a good feeling abut the manager A, and lends his or her car to the A with pleasure. Second, as for the generosity maxim, it means that speakers have to reduce gaining many profits from others. e.g. Manager A goes to subordinate B's office , and wants to take the files he forgot taking 10 minutes ago. A: Excuse me; I was here to take the USB driver and some files. I am so sorry that I forgot the file with me.

Could I get them back? B: Oh, it dose not matter. Here there are! In this short conversation, both the manager A and subordinate B have used the generosity maxim. They star the communication from the point of other's views, and they are willing to take the duty themselves. As a result, the communication goes quite well and the purpose of this communication is accomplished successfully. As for the approbation maxim, it means that the speakers would better to increase more chances to praise others. In daily communication, everyone wants to be praised by others. So it is a good way to gain other's trust by using appropriate compliments. e.g. The manager A is noticing the B, one of his subordinates, typing very quickly with his article. And the conversation goes like this: A: A nice piece of writing on the test paper. Keep up the good work. B: Thank you sir! Just one single piece of compliment, but its' function is dramatic. The subordinate B is definitely encouraged by his supervisor. As for the modesty maxim, it requires speakers to increase the self-disparaging. e.g. The manager A has a good handicraft and the subordinate B is also a good at handicraft. The subordinate B has finished his writing report and hand it to the manager A. A: I think the report is quite good from your beautiful handwriting, and how I wish to have such beautiful handwriting. B: Thank you sir. In the conversation the Manager A disparages himself this way makes the subordinate feel confident and shortens the distance between them. As for the agreement maxim, it requires speakers enlarge the agreements with others. e.g.

The manager A has a discussion with some of his subordinate over next season's proposal. But they do not have the exact same thoughts at last. The experienced manager A finally draws a conclusion of the agreements with his subordinates and put the disagreement behind for further discussion. As for the sympathy maxim, it means to reduce the repugnance of others. Take the smoking habit as an example. Some managers hate smoking very much, yet they allow their subordinates to take a smoke in private place casually. After all , it is of good effect to working sometimes and it may be unaccepted to forbid people smoking. All in total, Leech's politeness principle ties the two communicating parties together with politeness, and its core is to minimize the expression of the impolite benefits. In enterprise managing, managers can be a popular among their subordinates or co-workers on the basis of using politeness principle felicitously.

3.2.3. The reality principle

The reality principle is a psychoanalytic concept, and originally it is proposed by Sigmund Freud, which compels people to defer gratification when necessary due to the obstacles of reality. According to this, the reality principle is governed by the ego that controls the instant- gratification mentality of the id. When speakers start their communications with others, they have to be mature and realistic enough to avoid instant gratification in favor of the long-term satisfaction. e.g. The manager A wants to seek a long-term benefit so he gives up the chance to get promoted, while he recommends one of his best subordinates to be his assistant. People may hold the view that the manager A must be an idiot judging from the appearance. However, he will gain more benefits from this by get his subordinate promoted in the near future. This is a specific example for the use of the reality principle. In enterprise management, managers who have a good use of the reality principle can foresee the development of the enterprise prospect and certainly will be good communicators as well as successful managers.

3.3. Strategies of language communicative competence

Knowing the principles of language communication is not enough for achieving the effective communication; managers also have to apply some pragmatic strategies in communicating. Based on the effective communication model Johari Window and the language communication causes among people, specific language communicative strategies are required: the avoidance strategy, the cooperative strategy, the delaying strategy as well as the compensatory strategy.

3.3.1. The avoidance strategy

The avoidance strategy can also be called the topic shifting strategy which means that speakers can avoid taking the topic they do not mentioned; instead they bring about another new topic and continue their communication. As for managers in enterprise managing, it is a good way for them to shift topics to the ones they want to be discussed. e.g. The subordinate A wants to have a talk with his manager B on the issue of raising his salary. But the manager B does not want to talk about it and he figure out a way to handle this. A: Mr. Paul, I'd like to suggest that you can offer me more by 10% per month. B: I would like to, but you should take everything into consideration .For example, the poor sales ratio and the huge expenses. Our company is really in poor conditions. In this conversation, the manager B uses the avoiding strategy and successfully shifts the topic into another so that the subordinate A may not have the chance to come to the original topic on the raising of his salary.

3.3.2. The cooperative strategy

The cooperative strategy means the strategy of an autonomous group of person who voluntarily cooperate for their mutual, social, economic, and cultural benefit. In enterprise management, managers are supposed to get their subordinates altogether and start his communications with them in a cooperative way. e.g. The manager A wants to figure out a way for the "Performance related pay" or briefly the "PRP", in order to cheer all the subordinates. He conveys his communication like this, "My fellow colleagues, in order to mostly benefit every one in our company. Our company decides to adopt the "performance related pay", and I'd like to hear the views from all of you. Let's figure out the best option altogether." When managers are communicating like this, the subordinates will feel they are respected and may ask less for their own benefits, and the mangers may enhance their leaderships at the same time.

3.3.3. The delaying strategy

The delaying strategy refers to the strategic delays by using the mouth filling words and repeating when people are talking with other. Using the delaying strategy can buy some time for the speakers to figure out better ways to express their ideas. In the discourse conversion, sometimes the communications may have to be cut owing to the lacking of communication backgrounds or excuses. In order to avoid the failing of the communications, speakers can use some mouth filling words to make up for this gap. For example, "Well", "You know", "To be honest" are quite acceptable. Sill, we can make up our conversations by repeating. When the speakers are not truly understand about what others' purposes, they can say, "Sorry, I can not follow you, would you like to repeat it?" Briefly, the strategic delays play a good role in avoiding the embarrassment which the managers may usually use in management communications.

3.3.4. The compensatory strategy

The compensatory strategy refers to the strategy that speakers use to make communications move on by compensating for the difficulties they meet in communicating. Successful managers who are confronted with communicating obstacles, they prefer to methods to compensate the conversations to make their purposes easily understood by their subordinates. Generally, experienced managers are used to managing the attention and concentration of others. When they have some proposals published in a meeting, the first thing for them to do is to draw the listeners' full attention rather than get to the main course directly. By telling a story or sharing some news which is closely related to their coworkers, it reduces the chance of distraction factors at a meeting: playing with mobile phones, chatting with others, turning a blind eye to the business, etc. Also, successful managers always have organized plans when they assign assignments to their subordinates. They have detailed thoughts of the lists in their mind, and they put them in a logic order according to the priorities. In the end, they can easily assign the tasks to their subordinates, and on the other hand the working efficiency is greatly ensured for the subordinates act well with the organized plans given by the managers. However, all the strategies mentioned above are quite useful for the managers on the basis of proper use.

3.4. The application of language communicative competence

3.3.1. The accuracy of using language

The accuracy of using language for managers has much to do with the communication results. Managers wan to know achieve this have to focus on the following aspects. Firstly, making language vivid, imagery and moving so that managers can express their thoughts clearly, accurately, persuasively and forcefully. Besides, managers have to make their words clear to be understood and pay attention to their dictions when using rhetorical devices. Last but not least, the use of formal language is better than the use of rare dictions.

3.3.2. The control of other's emotion

In the enterprises, the emotion of the co-workers is the vital factor of the effective communication. A good manager must have the ability to control the emotions of his subordinates. That way, the information can be expressed to each other successfully and the efficiency of the team is greatly improved. Good managers always have to have a sensitive feeling of their subordinates' emotion and make sure it is active.

3.3.3. Timing

When communicating with others, the time is also an important factor for the people to take into consideration since it takes time to filter the information for use. Owing to the limited time and other factors, managers may ignore the some key information. Therefore, effective communications should be closely connected with the certain grasp of timing. As for the managers, they can take this easily by arranging a specific time during working or make a schedule for the communications with subordinates off duty time. Whenever it is, one thing should be sure is that the time is suitable for the two parties, the managers and the subordinates, so that communications between them will not be ruined by other things.

4. Conclusion

Language is the set of vocal symbols used for human communication, and it is media for people to pass on and conserve the human civilizations. Certainly, the research on how to use language to transfer information and communicate with others is also an important issue. In enterprise managing business, managers convey the effective language communications with their subordinates and co-workers in order to push the enterprises develop rapidly. Therefore, managers' language communicative competence has become the significant weights on the managements so that managers must take effective language communications seriously if they want to be successful managers. This paper is a new trial research of language, for it is a combination Johari Window, effective language communication and management. Hopefully, this paper may bring some new thoughts on language communication and enterprise management, further more to enlarge the study of language and communication.


  1. Fairclough, N. Language and Power. London & New York: Longman. 1989. Karimnia, Amin; Izadparast, Marziyeh. On communicative and linguistic competence. International Journal of Communication (New Delhi: Bahri).
  2. Retrieved June 27, 2012. Lynn Little. Leadership Communication and the Johari Window. PhD 2005 Terry R. Armslrong. REVISITING THE JOHARI WINDOW: Improving Communications through Self-disclosure and Feedback. PhD. Pearson, J. Interpersonal Communication. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foreman and Company. 1983.
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Johari Window And Language Communication Business Essay. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved February 26, 2024 , from

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