Tenant Needs – Known and Hidden

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The following is inspired by a model called The Johari Window, created by Joseph Lutt.

Here’s a useful way of looking at how to meet tenant needs.The model has four different ways of viewing a tenant.

1. The tenant has needs that they make known to you and are aware of them as well

“I know what I need and I share it with you”

2. The tenant has needs that they are aware of but don’t overtly share them with you.

“I know what I need but I am keeping it private.”

3. The tenant has needs that they aren’t aware of but are known or clear to you.

“I don’t know what I need but you do you.”

(The tenant may or may not be aware that you know what they need.)

4. The tenant has needs that neither you nor they are aware of.

“I don’t know what I need and neither do you.”


How can you deal with these different situations?

What causes them?

There are a number of ways you can deal with each of these four situations.

1. The tenant has needs that they make known to you and are aware of them as well

“I know what I need and I share it with you”

This is best done with sensitivity to the tenant who is showing openness and trust in you. The tenant trusts you and is demonstrating self-awareness and confidence to share their needs.

2. The tenant has needs that they are aware of but don’t overtly share them with you.

“I know what I need but I am keeping it private.”

There could be a lack of trust here, a shyness, or a fear of sharing with you. The tenant may be unassertive, protecting others, fearful based on past experience. They may be naturally untrusting, cautious or just private.

3. The tenant has needs that they aren’t aware of but are known or clear to you.

“I don’t know what I need but you do you.”

The tenant isn’t aware of what they share. They may be very open with others but a bit blocked inside. They may often be in denial in their internal dialogue, or they may lack self-awareness. They may show a lot more to others than to themselves. They may wear their heart on their sleeve. They may be naive and innocent. They may see you as a parent they want to parent them.

(The tenant may or may not be aware that you know what they need.)

4. The tenant has needs that neither you nor they are aware of.

“I don’t know what I need and neither do you.”

The tenant isn’t very self-aware and behaves very minimally, privately, doesn’t express themselves clearly and finds it hard to put thoughts, feelings and wants into words or body language. They are confused, don’t think logically, or find it hard to think in logical or rational terms. They give out “mixed messages” and swing in thoughts, moods and decisions.

What actions might you take to help in each situation?

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About Paul Levy

Paul is a writer, thinker, facilitator, theatre-maker, and conversifier. He is the author of the book, Digital Inferno.

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