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The Five-to-Fold Decision-Making Model

“Five-to-Fold groundwork:

  1. Explain issues.
  2. Offer your solution.
  3. Field questions.
  4. Vote using the “Five-to-Fold” method. (Hold up zero to five fingers.)

Five-to-Fold vote:

  1. Five fingers. You’re all-in and prepared to own the project. You’ll take the lead if asked.
  2. Four fingers. You give strong support and active participation, but you’re not willing to lead the initiative.
  3. Three fingers. You’re on board.
  4. Two fingers. You have important reservations but will support the initiative.
  5. One finder. You have serious reservations but will not block or subvert the effort. You also commit to open communication regarding your reservations.
  6. Folding – no fingers. You want to block the proposal because you believe it’s damaging.

Note: Folding is part of the process, not a failure.


Every legitimate vote is an opportunity for dissent.

Forced consensus drives dissent underground.

Honest consensus-finding welcomes – even invites – dissent. …

Real consensus is never achieved by sacrificing your values or strongly held beliefs.

Determine how you’ll respond to low or no support for an idea before taking votes. How will you respond to the one or two finger votes? What about the Fold votes?”


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