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Johari Window: Enhancing Decision-Making for DepEd School Heads

Decision-making is a critical aspect of leadership, especially for School Heads in the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines. These individuals are tasked with navigating a complex and ever-changing landscape, facing numerous challenges and uncertainties along the way. To effectively lead their schools and drive improvement, School Heads must be able to make well-informed decisions that consider multiple perspectives and potential outcomes. One tool that can help in this process is the Johari Window model, which provides a framework for understanding oneself and others, and for enhancing communication and collaboration.

Understanding the Johari Window Model

The Johari Window model, developed by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955, is a powerful tool for improving self-awareness and interpersonal relationships. The model consists of four quadrants, each representing a different aspect of an individual’s knowledge and understanding:

Open Area

The Open Area represents information, feelings, and experiences that are known to both the individual (in this case, the school head) and others (such as teachers, staff, students, and parents). This quadrant is characterized by open communication, transparency, and mutual understanding.

Example scenario: A school head regularly holds open forums and meetings with teachers, staff, and parents to discuss the school’s goals, challenges, and progress. During these meetings, the school head openly shares relevant information and encourages others to provide feedback and suggestions.


  • Fosters trust and collaboration among stakeholders
  • Facilitates informed decision-making based on diverse perspectives
  • Promotes a positive school culture and working environment


  • Maintaining open communication channels and ensuring all stakeholders feel heard
  • Balancing transparency with confidentiality and sensitivity to individual privacy

Strategies for school heads:

  1. Establish regular opportunities for open dialogue, such as staff meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and student forums.
  2. Actively seek and encourage feedback from all stakeholders, and demonstrate a willingness to incorporate their input into decision-making processes.
  3. Model transparency and vulnerability by sharing both successes and challenges openly and honestly.

In the context of the Philippine education system, fostering a strong Open Area can help school heads navigate the complex bureaucracy and hierarchical structure of DepEd, build trust with local communities, and promote a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement.

Blind Area

The Blind Area represents information, feelings, and experiences that are unknown to the individual but known to others. This quadrant encompasses blind spots, areas for growth, and unrecognized strengths or weaknesses.

Example scenario: A school head is unaware that their communication style is perceived as overly authoritative and dismissive by some teachers and staff members. This perception is impacting staff morale and hindering effective collaboration, but the school head remains oblivious to the issue.


  • Identifying areas for personal and professional growth
  • Gaining valuable insights and perspectives from others
  • Enhancing self-awareness and emotional intelligence


  • Overcoming defensiveness or resistance to feedback
  • Addressing deeply ingrained blind spots or biases

Strategies for school heads:

  1. Actively solicit feedback from others, particularly those with different perspectives or experiences.
  2. Cultivate a growth mindset and a willingness to learn from constructive criticism.
  3. Engage in regular self-reflection and seek out professional development opportunities to address blind spots.

In the Philippine context, school heads may face unique blind spots related to cultural differences, socioeconomic disparities, or regional variations within the education system. By proactively seeking feedback and engaging in self-reflection, school heads can better understand and address these challenges.

Hidden Area

The Hidden Area represents information, feelings, and experiences that are known to the individual but unknown to others. This quadrant encompasses personal thoughts, feelings, and motivations that are not shared openly.

Example scenario: A school head is privately struggling with burnout and work-life balance issues but chooses not to share these concerns with their staff or superiors, fearing that it may be perceived as a weakness or lack of commitment.


  • Maintaining personal boundaries and privacy
  • Protecting sensitive or confidential information
  • Allowing for personal reflection and self-awareness


  • Hindering open communication and trust-building
  • Limiting opportunities for support and collaboration
  • Perpetuating misunderstandings or misconceptions

Strategies for school heads:

  1. Regularly assess which information, feelings, or experiences are appropriate to share openly and which should remain private.
  2. Cultivate a network of trusted confidants, such as mentors or peers, with whom to share personal challenges and seek guidance.
  3. Gradually expand the Open Area by sharing relevant hidden information when appropriate and beneficial to the school community.

In the Philippine context, school heads may face cultural or societal expectations that discourage the open sharing of personal challenges or vulnerabilities. By carefully navigating the Hidden Area and selectively sharing relevant information, school heads can build trust and foster a supportive school environment.

Unknown Area

The Unknown Area represents information, feelings, and experiences that are unknown to both the individual and others. This quadrant encompasses untapped potential, hidden talents, and unexplored opportunities for growth and discovery.

Example scenario: A school head and their staff are unaware that a particular teacher has a unique skill set in technology integration that could significantly enhance the school’s remote learning capabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Discovering new strengths, talents, and resources within the school community
  • Fostering a culture of curiosity, experimentation, and innovation
  • Encouraging continuous learning and growth for all stakeholders


  • Overcoming fear or resistance to exploring the unknown
  • Allocating time and resources for experimentation and discovery
  • Managing potential risks or setbacks associated with venturing into uncharted territory

Strategies for school heads:

  1. Encourage a culture of curiosity, risk-taking, and learning from failure.
  2. Provide opportunities for staff and students to explore new ideas, skills, and experiences.
  3. Foster a supportive and inclusive environment that values diverse perspectives and unconventional thinking.

In the context of the Philippine education system, exploring the Unknown Area can help school heads uncover innovative solutions to persistent challenges, such as resource limitations, access to technology, or student engagement. By embracing the unknown and encouraging experimentation, school heads can drive positive change and adapt to the evolving needs of their school communities.

By understanding these four quadrants and how they relate to one’s own knowledge and understanding, as well as that of others, School Heads can gain valuable insights into their decision-making processes and identify areas for improvement.

Applying the Johari Window to Decision-Making

To effectively apply the Johari Window model to decision-making, School Heads should focus on expanding the Open Area, reducing the Blind Area, minimizing the Hidden Area, and exploring the Unknown Area.

Expanding the Open Area

Expanding the Open Area involves soliciting feedback from stakeholders and encouraging open communication and transparency. By actively seeking input from teachers, students, parents, and community members, School Heads can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the issues and challenges facing their schools. This feedback can help inform decision-making and ensure that multiple perspectives are considered.

To foster open communication, School Heads should:

  • Establish regular channels for feedback, such as surveys, focus groups, and open forums
  • Encourage stakeholders to share their ideas, concerns, and suggestions
  • Create a safe and supportive environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing their views

Reducing the Blind Area

Reducing the Blind Area involves embracing constructive criticism and seeking diverse perspectives. By being open to feedback and actively seeking out different viewpoints, School Heads can identify their own blind spots and gain new insights into potential solutions.

To reduce the Blind Area, School Heads should:

  • Actively listen to feedback and criticism, even when it is difficult to hear
  • Seek out diverse perspectives from individuals with different backgrounds and experiences
  • Be willing to challenge their own assumptions and biases

Minimizing the Hidden Area

Minimizing the Hidden Area involves fostering trust and collaboration and sharing relevant information and intentions. By being transparent about their decision-making processes and sharing relevant information with stakeholders, School Heads can build trust and encourage greater collaboration.

To minimize the Hidden Area, School Heads should:

  • Be transparent about their goals, objectives, and decision-making criteria
  • Share relevant information with stakeholders in a timely and accessible manner
  • Encourage open dialogue and collaboration among team members

Exploring the Unknown Area

Exploring the Unknown Area involves encouraging innovation and experimentation and learning from failures and successes. By creating a culture that supports risk-taking and learning from mistakes, School Heads can tap into untapped potential and drive continuous improvement.

To explore the Unknown Area, School Heads should:

  • Encourage experimentation and pilot projects to test new ideas and approaches
  • Celebrate successes and learn from failures, using them as opportunities for growth and improvement
  • Foster a culture of continuous learning and professional development

Strategies for Effective Decision-Making using the Johari Window

To effectively implement the Johari Window model in their decision-making processes, School Heads can employ several strategies:

  1. Developing a feedback-rich culture: By creating a culture that values feedback and encourages open communication, School Heads can ensure that they are receiving the information they need to make informed decisions.
  2. Promoting self-reflection and personal growth: By engaging in regular self-reflection and seeking opportunities for personal growth, School Heads can expand their own self-awareness and identify areas for improvement.
  3. Encouraging collaboration and teamwork: By fostering a collaborative and team-oriented environment, School Heads can tap into the collective knowledge and expertise of their staff and stakeholders.
  4. Embracing uncertainty and adaptability: By being open to change and willing to adapt to new circumstances, School Heads can navigate the unknown and make decisions that are responsive to evolving needs and challenges.

Recent Developments and Criticisms

While the Johari Window model has been widely used and accepted since its inception, it is essential to consider recent developments and criticisms of the model. Some researchers have suggested that the model may oversimplify the complexity of human relationships and self-awareness. Others have argued that the model does not adequately address power dynamics and cultural differences that can impact communication and collaboration.

Despite these criticisms, the Johari Window model remains a valuable tool for enhancing self-awareness and improving decision-making processes. By acknowledging the limitations of the model and incorporating other frameworks and perspectives, School Heads can leverage the strengths of the Johari Window while mitigating its weaknesses.


The Johari Window model provides a valuable framework for School Heads in DepEd to enhance their decision-making processes and navigate the challenges and uncertainties of their roles. By expanding the Open Area, reducing the Blind Area, minimizing the Hidden Area, and exploring the Unknown Area, School Heads can gain greater self-awareness, build trust and collaboration, and make well-informed decisions that drive school improvement.

However, effective decision-making using the Johari Window model requires a commitment to continuous self-improvement and learning. School Heads must be willing to seek feedback, challenge their own assumptions, and adapt to new circumstances. By embracing these principles and strategies, and by considering recent developments and criticisms of the model, School Heads can become more effective leaders and make a positive impact on the lives of their students and communities.

Self-Assessment Questionnaire: Enhancing Decision-Making for DepEd School Heads through the Johari Window

As a school head in the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines, your role in making effective decisions and leading your school community is crucial. This self-assessment questionnaire is designed to help you reflect on your self-awareness, communication, and decision-making processes, based on the principles of the Johari Window model. By completing this questionnaire and reviewing the scoring guide, you will gain valuable insights into your strengths and areas for growth, enabling you to enhance your leadership skills and navigate the challenges of the Philippine education system more effectively.


  1. How often do you actively seek feedback from teachers, staff, students, and parents regarding your decision-making processes? a) Always b) Often c) Sometimes d) Rarely e) Never
  2. When receiving constructive criticism, how do you typically respond? a) I welcome it and actively incorporate it into my decision-making process b) I listen to it, but sometimes struggle to act upon it c) I find it challenging to accept and often become defensive d) I tend to dismiss or ignore it
  3. How transparent are you in sharing your goals, objectives, and decision-making criteria with your school community? a) Extremely transparent b) Mostly transparent c) Somewhat transparent d) Not very transparent e) Not at all transparent
  4. How often do you engage in self-reflection to identify your own blind spots and areas for growth? a) Daily b) Weekly c) Monthly d) Rarely e) Never
  5. When faced with a challenging decision, how often do you seek diverse perspectives from individuals with different backgrounds and experiences? a) Always b) Often c) Sometimes d) Rarely e) Never
  6. How comfortable are you with sharing your personal challenges and vulnerabilities with trusted colleagues or mentors? a) Very comfortable b) Somewhat comfortable c) Neutral d) Somewhat uncomfortable e) Very uncomfortable
  7. How often do you encourage experimentation and risk-taking among your staff to explore new ideas and approaches? a) Always b) Often c) Sometimes d) Rarely e) Never
  8. When making decisions, how often do you consider the potential impact on all stakeholders, including those with diverse needs and perspectives? a) Always b) Often c) Sometimes d) Rarely e) Never
  9. How often do you communicate decisions and their rationale to your school community in a timely and transparent manner? a) Always b) Often c) Sometimes d) Rarely e) Never
  10. How open are you to learning from failures and using them as opportunities for growth and improvement? a) Very open b) Somewhat open c) Neutral d) Somewhat resistant e) Very resistant

Scoring Guide

For each question, assign the following points to your selected answer:

  • a) 4 points
  • b) 3 points
  • c) 2 points
  • d) 1 point
  • e) 0 points

Sum up your total points and compare your score to the following ranges:

  • 35-40 points: You have a strong understanding and application of the Johari Window principles in your decision-making processes. Continue to foster open communication, seek diverse perspectives, and engage in self-reflection to maintain and enhance your effectiveness as a school head.
  • 25-34 points: You have a good foundation in applying the Johari Window principles but have room for growth in certain areas. Review the questions where you scored lower and consider implementing strategies to improve your self-awareness, communication, and decision-making processes.
  • 15-24 points: You may be facing challenges in effectively applying the Johari Window principles to your role as a school head. Prioritize developing your self-awareness, actively seeking feedback, and fostering a more open and collaborative decision-making process. Consider seeking guidance from mentors or professional development opportunities.
  • 0-14 points: You may be struggling to incorporate the Johari Window principles into your leadership approach. It is essential to prioritize self-reflection, open communication, and a willingness to learn from others. Seek support from colleagues, mentors, or professional development resources to help you develop these critical skills and enhance your effectiveness as a school head.

Final Thoughts

By completing this self-assessment questionnaire, you have taken an important step towards enhancing your self-awareness and decision-making processes as a school head in DepEd. Remember that effective leadership is an ongoing journey, requiring continuous self-reflection, learning, and growth. By embracing the principles of the Johari Window model and actively seeking to expand your Open Area, reduce your Blind Area, manage your Hidden Area, and explore your Unknown Area, you will be better equipped to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the Philippine education system and make a positive impact on your school community.

Citing the Article:

To properly attribute the ideas and information presented in this article, please use the following citation format when referencing it in your work:

Suggested Citation Template (APA Style):
Llego, M. A. (2024, May 5). Johari Window: Enhancing decision-making for DepEd school heads. TeacherPH. Retrieved [Month] [Day], [Year], from https://www.teacherph.com/johari-window-deped-school-heads/

Mark Anthony Llego

Mark Anthony Llego, hailing from the Philippines, has made a profound impact on the teaching profession by enabling thousands of teachers nationwide to access crucial information and engage in meaningful exchanges of ideas. His contributions have significantly enhanced their instructional and supervisory capabilities, elevating the quality of education in the Philippines. Beyond his domestic influence, Mark's insightful articles on teaching have garnered international recognition, being featured on highly respected educational websites in the United States. As an agent of change, he continues to empower teachers, both locally and internationally, to excel in their roles and make a lasting difference in the lives of their students, serving as a shining example of the transformative power of knowledge-sharing and collaboration within the teaching community.

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