Reading Time: 2minutes Five-Finger-Voting is a simple version of the group decision Five-to-Fold facilitation for decision-making. A group has to decide in a very short time on a proposal and possible alternatives to solve the issue.
Description of Five-Finger Voting
Five-Finger Voting is a voting format to agree upon alternatives after they are discussed extensively. To create the alternative proposals for group decisions, there are other formats.
Five-Finger Voting is an elaborated variant of Thumb Voting which is a simple version of the Five-to-Fold format for decision-making. A group has to decide in a very short time on a proposal and possible alternatives to solve the issue.
The participants debated extensively the proposal and it's alternatives in a discussion up-front, e.g. in a Five-to-Fold facilitation. Now, it is time to decide. — You can vote with Five Fingers or with Coulored Cards.
When a group is asked to take a decision, the members try to find a common level of agreement by either democratic voting or consensus-based decision-making. In case of consensus-based decisioning seldom all people agree equally to the decision found. Instead, they commit themselves to a level of personal agreement.
Rules of Five-Finger Voting
One out of the group
Explains the issue shortly.
Offers the solution.
Fields questions — only short answers — no discussion.
Asks the group for finger-voting:
Folding – no fingers: You want to block the proposal because you believe it’s damaging.
One finder: You have serious reservations but will not block or subvert the effort. You also commit to open communication regarding your reservations.
Two fingers: You have important reservations but will support the initiative.
Three fingers: You’re on board.
Four fingers: You give strong support and active participation, but you’re not willing to lead the initiative.
Five fingers: You’re all-in and prepared to own the project. You’ll take the lead if asked.
Folding is not a failure — its part of the process,
Forced consensus drives dissent underground.
Real consensus is never achieved by sacrificing your values or strongly held beliefs.
In case of dissent (i.e. three fingers and less) go back to Five-to-Fold facilitation: