When a group comes
to consensus on a matter, it means that everyone in the group
can support the decision; they donít all have to think itís the
best decision, but they all agree they can live with it.
This tool is an easy-to-use way to build consensus among diverse
POINT TO PONDER: "It is the law
of love that rules mankind. Had violence, i.e. hate, ruled us we
should have become extinct long ago. And yet, the tragedy of it is
that the so-called civilized men and nations conduct themselves as if
the basis of society was violence." - Mahatma Gandhi
Whenever a group is
discussing a possible solution or coming to a decision on any matter,
Fist-to-Five is a good tool to determine what each personís opinion is
at any given time.
To use this technique
the Team Leader restates a decision the group may make and asks
everyone to show their level of support. Each person responds by
showing a fist or a number of fingers that corresponds to their
A no vote - a way to block consensus.
I need to talk more on the proposal and require changes for it to
I still need to discuss certain
issues and suggest changes that should be made.
I am more comfortable with the
proposal but would like to discuss some minor issues.
Iím not in total agreement but feel
comfortable to let this decision or a proposal pass without further
I think itís a good idea/decision and
will work for it.
Itís a great idea and I will be one
of the leaders in implementing it.
anyone holds up fewer than three fingers, they should be given the
opportunity to state their objections and the team should address
their concerns. Teams continue the Fist-to-Five process until they
achieve consensus (a minimum of three fingers or higher) or determine
they must move on to the next issue.)
Fletcher, A. (2002). FireStarter Youth Power Curriculum:
Participant Guidebook. Olympia, WA: Freechild Project.
Tool Designer: This tool was originally designed by the American Youth