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Windows - 3 for Outstanding Performance

The Johari Window, The Covey Window and the Buyer's Window

No - this is not Microsoft again. These are other windows, which are even more powerful in helping you operate with maximum effectiveness. They deal with

  • how others may perceive you,
  • how you should organize your time and
  • how buyers assess what you are selling.

The Johari Window

The first window has been around quite some time. When Bill Gates was born on October 28, 1955, the window had just been described that year in a paper by Joe Luft and Harry Ingham of the University of California Western Training Laboratory. It's called the Johari window. In a sense, it's all in the eye of the beholder.

JOHARI WINDOW What others know about us What others don't know about us
What we know about ourselves 1. COMMON KNOWLEDGE 2. SECRETS
What we don't know about ourselves 3. BLIND SPOTS 4. UNKNOWN

The technique can be applied to individuals or to organizations. It shows that what we think we are may not be what others see. In box 2, (we know but others don't know), are the SECRETS about us. These may perhaps be good points but we don't realize that others don't see them. In box 3, (we don't know but others do), are our BLIND SPOTS. These may be unconscious messages we are sending out that block our ability to work well with others. Our SECRETS and our BLIND SPOTS may make us less effective in many different situations: in trying to sell to potential customers, in working with our fellow-workers or in having full and satisfying relationships with other family members.

How can we find someone who will point out our SECRETS or our BLIND SPOTS. Are we really ready for that? It's a tough subject. A trusted mentor or a coach may be willing to talk to us, provided we insist that we would really like to know.

The Covey Window

The second window is easier to handle, although still tough to apply. These are concepts brought up by Stephen Covey, the author of "The 7 habits of highly effective people". Urgent matters, such as a ringing telephone, may grab our attention. However we should make sure that we have a clear view on the important issues. Box 1, matters which are both urgent and important, are what we should work on. Box 2, matters which are urgent but not important should be avoided. We should also put time into the Box 3 activities, important but not yet urgent, so that they get the effort they need without panicking.


The Buyer's Window

The third window is one that has received less attention but is equally important in determining our marketing and selling effectiveness. Many corporations fail because their product/service package development program has not realized the window's importance. Equally a good product/service package may not be sold because the salesman does not apply the ideas behind the window.

BUYER'S WINDOW What we offer
Product Associated Services
The Buyer is indifferent to these features 1. a,b,c,d 2. e,f,g,h
The Buyer needs these features 3. i,j,k,l 4. m,n,o,p
The Buyer wants these benefits 5. q,r,s,t 6. u,v,w,x

Not all features of what we offer are equal in the Buyer's eyes. Some features don't matter to the buyer: he or she is indifferent to them, (Boxes 1 and 2). Some features are essential and without them you will not be on the Buyer's short list of possible suppliers (Boxes 3 and 4). However what really determines whether the Buyer chooses you from the short list is the extent to which you provide the benefits the Buyer really wants (Boxes 5 and 6). This often relates not to the Product itself but to the Buyer's ability to perform some activity more effectively, often in a reliable and secure manner.

What many companies are finding is that Box 6 (the benefits of the associated services that the Buyer wants) now plays a much bigger part in this choice than Box 3 (the features of the products that the Buyer needs). You need to look carefully at your product/service package through the Buyer's Window. In selling to the Buyer, you must make sure that the Buyer is fully aware of all elements in the bottom 4 boxes.


You may ask whether you need to consider these windows to analyze what you are doing. Sometimes people do what comes naturally: they enjoy what they are doing and they have fun. However just as champion athletes look carefully at every element of their performance, we all can look with a keener eye on what we do and whether we can do it more effectively. These windows help us tune our performance to achieve champion status. By succeeding, we can enjoy ourselves even more and really have fun.

If you would like to apply any of these windows in your operations, SMM will be happy to assist you. Our help can be configured to meet exactly the needs you have. Our strengths, experience, creativity and practical common sense can complement those of your company. So write us a Message today on what you're looking for without obligation.

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Added to site 8 October 2001
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