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How Do You Come Across to Others?

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How Do You Come Across to Others?

If you want to become more self-aware, Johari’s Window is a great place to start. This is a fun exercise to do with a few of your friends. All you have to do is identify adjectives that describe one another from a preset list.

Be prepared for some “Ah-ha!” moments. You’ll discover adjectives that maybe you were surprised to hear. Even adjectives you were sure more people would use to describe you but did not come up. This exercise will provide insight into the way others experience you – let this knowledge enlighten and empower you.

And remember, no incredibly accomplished person ever got there because she did not have any weaknesses. In fact, leaders of some of the most successful companies had well-known weaknesses (think Steve Jobs). Embrace your strengths and weaknesses and accept that they are what make us human.  You can build a team around your weaknesses. In a world that strives for perfection, and highlights with a red marker mistakes and errors, our view is that the only weaknesses you need to worry about are weaknesses you are not aware of.  With this exercise, we will minimize our blind spots!

Part One

  • Get 3-5 friends, classmates, or co-workers together.
  • For each participant, select 5 adjectives from the list below you think best describe that person (how you experience that person). Write those adjectives down on the table.
  • Notice that most of these adjectives are fairly positive. Include one adjective-not on this list, that might be difficult for that person to hear, based on your “first impressions” of them.
  • Then select 5 adjectives from this list that you think best describe yourself (how you experience yourself) and one not on the list, one that is difficult for you to hear. Write those down on the worksheet.

Adjective Table

Able Dependable Intelligent Patient Sensible
Accepting Dignified Introverted Powerful Sentimental
Adaptable Energetic Kind Proud Shy
Bold Extroverted Knowledgeable Quiet Silly
Brave Friendly Logical Reflective Spontaneous
Calm Giving Loving Relaxed Sympathetic
Caring Happy Mature Religious Tense
Cheerful Helpful Modest Responsive Trustworthy
Clever Idealistic Nervous Searching Warm
Complex Independent Observant Self-assertive Wise
Confident Ingenious Organized Self-conscious Witty 


Participant 1 Name: Participant 2 Name: Participant 3 Name: Participant 4 Name: Name: Jane
Additional Adjective:Nit-picky


  • In each column, put the name of participant in the top row
  • In the column under each name, list the 5 adjectives from the designated list, plus the additional adjective you selected for each person
  • In the last column, list the 6 adjectives you selected for yourself
  • Go around one by one and share your list.
  • Take note of the six adjectives each participant uses to describe you

Part Two

  • Adjectives selected by both you and at least one other participant, place in the open quadrant
  • Adjectives selected by only you, place in the private quadrant
  • Adjectives selected by one other participant, but not by you place in the blind quadrant

Known to Self

Not Known to Self

Known to Others





Not known to Other


Unknown (Yet)


Bonus: If you’re feeling up for it, ask your friends, “How do you experience yourself differently while in my presence?”

Most people focus just on “How do you experience me?” “What do you think about me?” questions, but what is even more key to our ability to lead, influence, and build relationships is, “How do they feel about themselves when they’re in my presence?” It makes the difference between compliance versus commitment. People who don’t feel good about themselves will simply comply at best, while those who you have a wonderful effect on will be strongly committed.


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