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How to open a window into someone’s mind

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Do you ever wonder what facets of their personality other people are showing you vs what they keep hidden?

I do, much more frequently than I’d like to admit.

Studying someone’s mind is pretty addictive.

But it’s also useful if you want to successfully navigate relationships and create new ones.

Success and growth turns out, are a lot about connecting with others.

It’s a lesson I’m learning more and more everyday.

I’ve recently gone back to reading the book “Never eat alone”. I started it back when I was just barely dipping my toes in the online business space, 6 or 7 years ago, but never finished it.

You gotta love how your mind changes and how something that might have seemed irrelevant a couple years ago, now might be super applicable.

In the book, Keith Ferrazzi says:

Every person’s Johari Window can be more or less open depending on the circumstances. And different professions—from those that demand a lot of interpersonal skills, like sales, to those that, like accounting, are generally more solitary—attract people whose windows share similar tendencies.

So I went on a hunt and dug into this “Johari window” idea.

The Johari Window is a psychological tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955. It’s named after the combination of their first names. The model is used to help people better understand their relationship with themselves and others.


Begin your career in copywriting and marketing and you soon learn that being effective at persuading people and getting them on your side, requires you to understand both them – and yourself.

Nobody lives in isolation.

The Johari Window is divided into four quadrants or ‘windows’:

  • Open Area (Open Self): This quadrant represents the things that you know about yourself, and the things that others know about you. This includes your behavior, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and “public” history.
  • Blind Area (Blind Self): This quadrant represents things about you that you aren’t aware of, but that others can see. This can include simple information that you do not know, or it can involve more deeply ingrained patterns of behavior and thinking which are kept out of your consciousness for a variety of reasons.
  • Hidden Area (Hidden Self): This quadrant represents things that you know about yourself, but others don’t. This might involve feelings, past experiences, fears, secrets, etc. This quadrant represents the area where individuals can choose to be secretive or open about personal information and feelings.
  • Unknown Area (Unknown Self): This quadrant represents the things that are unknown by both you and others. This includes the information, feelings, capabilities, talents, etc, which can be either dormant or suppressed, and could be brought to light with self-discovery or via observation from others.

It can be a very powerful tool when applied to copy.

Here’s how I would do it:

  1. Find the common ground: These are the things both you and your audience already know. In copywriting, these are the clear, open, and shared truths that form the basis of your message. It’s the common ground between you and your audience and can be used to establish trust and rapport.
  2. Dig out the dirt (or the gold): This represents the things your audience knows about your product/service/industry that you might not be aware of. This could be perceptions, feelings, or experiences related to your brand. Uncovering these through market research, surveys, and customer feedback can help you address any misconceptions, enhance your value proposition, or even tweak your product or service based on customer insights.
  3. Educate and tell your story: These are the things you know about your product/service/industry that your audience doesn’t. In copywriting, this is where education and storytelling come into play. Sharing this information can build credibility, differentiate your offering, and help customers understand why they need your product or service.
  4. Study patterns to see the future: These are the unknowns for both you and your audience. In terms of copywriting, this could be potential future benefits of your product/service, future industry trends, or unexplored opportunities. By conducting ongoing research and staying ahead of industry trends, you can uncover these unknowns and position your brand as a forward-thinking leader.

When you are wondering which window you should open in your audience’s mind and how to do it, think of the Johari Window model.

It will help.

Speaking of opening windows, I share a lot of non copy stuff and a different view on how my (weird) mind works on Instagram. Let’s connect, I’d love to see what you’re up to.

Quote and reflection of the day:

“A Spartan king was once asked what the Spartans got from their “spartan” habits. “Freedom is what we reap from this way of life,” he told him”

– Ryan Holiday, Discipline Is Destiny

Building good physical and mental habits opens up the space and energy you need to freely create in this world. Inner friction removes outer friction. The best training ground for your experience of the world is yourself.

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brain dump?

Every week I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

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