Fist-5 for Speed

Team icon copy“Why are we having this conversation again? We’d sorted this…” the team leader said. Whilst some of the team agreed, it was obvious that the majority didn’t. You could sense the frustration in the room.

It was the perfect time to equip the team with one of red10’s favourite tools for increasing clarity with speed: Fist-5.

Have you been in a meeting where everyone is violently agreeing and yet we’re still discussing it over and over?

Or the opposite, have you been in a meeting whereby a vocal person thinks their proposal is getting a lot of support because no-one is objecting, but you know that there are at least two people who aren’t bought in to the idea?

Fist-5 is a very simple tool that allows teams to find out everyone’s current opinion quickly, allowing the conversation to then focus where it needs to.

It’s simply asking people to give a score – from 0 (holding up a fist) through to 5 (holding up the thumb and all fingers). 3 fingers tends to mean “I don’t have an opinion either way”.

A great way of using it is to say “My proposal is X, let’s Fist-5 to quickly see what people think”. A result of mainly 3s and 4s but with one 5 and one 0 could be followed by “Let’s listen to the 5 and the 0 talk to each other and see where that gets us to”.

Using Fist-5 really speeds up teams and increases clarity and buy-in.

When I first read about Fist-5, I thought it would never work. I thought that people would find it too awkward to use in practice.

But now I find the opposite. In teams in which I myself am a member, I am surprised to find myself raising my hand to give my score on the suggestion even when the rest of the team don’t yet know how Fist-5 works.

You can use this in virtual meetings too – including those without video – by simply entering your score in the chat room window.

My proposal is that every team starts using Fist-5 this year, either by themselves or having been helped to do so by a red10 team coach – let’s Fist-5 quickly now to see what everyone thinks…

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