Making Decisions With Fist to Five Voting

George Morris
2 min readAug 30, 2023

Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions in meetings, passively nodding to ideas instead of speaking up? Or you may dread the endless debates that never reach a clear decision.

It doesn’t have to be that way. A simple technique called “Fist to Five” voting can totally change how your team makes decisions.

Here’s the deal — Fist to Five gives everyone a voice and gets you out of those awkward yes/no binds. When a proposal comes up, each person holds up a hand to show their level of support — from a fist for “hard no” to five fingers for “absolutely yes!”


It’s a quick, visual way to gather perspectives. And it keeps the discussion constructive since you have to explain your stance. Suddenly, those long debates turn into focused conversations.

I’ve seen it completely transform team dynamics. Meetings go from dull to collaborative. You have honest exchanges and reach decisions faster. People feel heard. And you build trust by understanding where someone is coming from, even if you disagree.

Let me walk you through how it works -

1. Present the proposal or idea to the group.

2. Ask everyone to think about where they stand, from 0 (fist) to full support (5 fingers).

3. Count down from 3 to 1; on 1 everyone shows their hand. This shows the general sentiment in the room.

4. Have an open discussion so people can explain their rationale.

5. Make the decision, reconsidering if there’s low support.

See? Simple as holding up your hand. With practice, Fist to Five gets seamless.

I won’t pretend it’s perfect. The lack of anonymity could make some folks hesitant to be totally honest, but that opens up another conversation about team trust. Note, it may not work as well for really complex choices, but those are typically rare.

In my experience, the pros majorly outweigh the cons. Fist to Five gets your team aligned, creates buy-in for ideas, and makes meetings more engaging.

So, if you’re tired of lifeless meetings that go nowhere, give this technique a shot. Ditch the yes/no and let your fingers do the talking! You might just find yourself high-fiving after a decision well made.



George Morris

Lifelong entrepreneur and business coach, single father of two. Looking for ways society can level-up to meet the modern global challenges.