Workshop Exercises: Decide

Fist to Five

Quickly collect feedback or gauge support during a meeting

Illustration of Fist to Five
Run a Fist to Five play

Timing: Execution

Run time
1 minute

Group size

Why: Eliminate the need for lengthy discussions by quickly gauging support and build consensus using simple hand gestures

When: Use to gather initial reactions to proposals, evaluating options, or gauging the level of support for a decision

This workshop exercise is part of the Workshop Patterns printed card deck.

A collection of workshop exercises that will help you ditch dull meetings and facilitate with confidence. It will help you master the design process and have more productive time with your team. The card deck will be ready for purchase in the end of 2023 and is now undergoing rigorous testing.

Reserve your deck!

Instructions for running this play

  1. Ask the group to show their level of support for an idea or proposal from 0 to 5.
  2. Each person responds by showing a fist or a number of fingers that corresponds to their opinion.
  3. The group moves forward only when all votes are above 3. If anyone holds up less than three fingers, then discussion is needed.
  4. Discuss. Team members who held up less than three fingers should have an opportunity to express their concerns. Let the team discuss and suggest improvements and then repeat the exercise to determine whether consensus has now been reached.

The meeting leader asks everyone to rate the meeting from a 0 to 5, with 0 meaning it was a complete waste of time and 5 signifying an excellent use of time. Anyone who rates the meeting a 3 or lower is then invited to share what one thing could have been done differently that would have increased their rating by one point.

Fist (0 Fingers) indicates a no vote, blocking consensus.It’s a “I need to talk more on the proposal and require changes for it to pass.”
1 Finger indicates not being in agreement, but not blocking consensus.It’s a “I still need to discuss certain issues and suggest changes that should be made.”
2 Fingers indicate not being in full agreement, but not blocking consensus.It’s a “I am more comfortable with the proposal but would like to discuss some minor issues.”
3 Fingers indicate not being in total agreement, but feeling comfortable letting the decision or proposal pass without further discussion.
4 Fingers indicate a good idea or decisionIt’s a “I will work for it.”
5 Fingers indicate a great ideaIt’s a “I will be one of the leaders in implementing it.”

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