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"Fist to Five" for Quick Evaluation

The "fist to five" technique for voting or consensus decision-making (see "Dedocracia") can be used for rapid, on the fly, evaluation. It gives people an easy way to practice an important technique for democratic decision-making and the experience of expressing their judgment in a group context. For the facilitator(s) and the group, it provides important information about the usefulness of the techniques being used.

The flow:

The joker explains the six hand signals, drawing a simple picture of a hand for each one:
Five fingers up means: "This is great! Excellent! Let's do it again right now! I will help make it happen!"
Four fingers means: "This is great. I like it. Let's do it again some time."
Three fingers means: "This is okay. We can do it again, or not. Either way."
Two fingers means: "I didn't like it. There are problems with it. We should change it before doing it again."
One finger means: "This is bad. We should not do this again."
A fist means: "This is terrible. I can't be a part of this. If we ever do this again, I will leave or quit."

The joker counts down, "5, 4, 3, 2, 1!" and everyone shows their vote, keeping their hands in the air until all have been seen.

The value of this as a quick-and-dirty technique is that you get feedback on the fly, the whole group sees it, each person expresses their view, and you can proceed with awareness of how the group sees the process. It is also important as a moment for surfacing and recognizing dissatisfaction, which is crucial for innovation and improvement.


You can follow this with discussion or written feedback.
You can ask people from each category to explain their votes.
You can do a "secret ballot," with people putting their heads on the desk while voting, with designated counters taking the count.

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