Decision Making Methods

The decision making methods here are all used in consensus decision making.

Consensus decision making is an inclusive and creative practice used as a way to reach agreements and make decisions within a group. Consensus does not operate in a majority rules fashion, and is instead operates in a manner that finds a solution for everyone to actively support or at least be somewhat comfortable with.

Why are decision making methods important?

There are so many methods that groups can used to get consensus on various topics. It is important to know about these methods so you can test them out and see what works best for your group!

What are some different decision making methods?

Fist of Five

Fist of five is one of the easier methods of gaining group consensus. Here's how it works:

  1. The facilitator or individual proposing an idea states the proposal clearly for the group
  2. The group has the option to ask clarifying questions
  3. If needed, the proposal can be re-stated to include areas that need clarification
  4. The facilitator or individual proposing an idea asks the group to hold up anywhere from 0-5 fingers on one hand


No support/hard block to the proposal.

"This proposal is very uncomfortable and it requires changes for me to support it."

1 Finger

No support, but will not block the proposal.

"I do not like this proposal at all and would like to discuss changing it, but I will not block it if the group wants to move forward as is."

2 Fingers

Minimal support to the proposal

"I am somewhat comfortable with the proposal but want to discuss some small issues."

3 Fingers

Neutral to the proposal.

"I don't totally agree with the proposal, but am comfortable with the group moving ahead without further discussion"

4 Fingers

Solid support to the proposal.

"I think the proposal is a good idea and I will support it."

5 Fingers

Wholly enthusiastic support for the proposal.

"I think this proposal is a great idea and I will actively support and promote it where I have capacity."