Quickly determine what each person’s opinion is when a group is discussing a possible solution. 

👥 whole team | ⏰ between 15 and 30 minutes


When a group comes to consensus on a matter, it means that everyone in the group can support the decision; they don’t all have to think it’s 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 groups. 


To use this technique the Team Leader restates a decision the group needs to make and asks everyone to show their level of support. Each person responds at the same time by showing a fist or a number of fingers that corresponds to their opinion. 


I need to talk more on the proposal and require changes for it to pass. (This is a no-vote—a way to block consensus.) 

1 Finger 

I still need to discuss certain issues and suggest changes that should be made. 

2 Fingers 

I am more comfortable with the proposal but would like to discuss some minor issues. 

3 Fingers 

I’m not in total agreement but feel comfortable to let this decision or a proposal pass without further discussion. 

4 Fingers 

I think it’s a good idea/decision and will work for it. 

5 Fingers 

It’s a great idea and I will be one of the leaders in implementing it. 

The Team Leader then looks around the room and quickly tallies the votes. If anyone holds up fewer than three fingers, they should be given the opportunity to briefly state their objections, including what it would take to get them to vote with the majority. The team should address their concerns in return. 

Teams continue the Fist-to-Five process until they achieve consensus (a minimum of three fingers or higher).