5toFold – Connect & Commit | Five-to-Fold decision-mastery process

A User Story – 5toFold in Practice

As I enter the room I find a circle of chairs. I notice the care that has been put into preparing a welcoming space for us. The sponsor of the meeting greets us: Welcome!

We are invited to land together in the circle with a transfer-in activity. I feel some of the pressure and tension fading away by this start.

The decision-making process begins and the facilitator invites the sponsor to Present the Proposal to all of us.

As the sponsor does so, she also declares her openness and trust in our group. She believes that the wisdom to explore this proposal is in the room. I feel it’s a genuine invitation.

Next the facilitator invites us to ask any Clarifying Questions to the sponsor. At this time, no personal opinions are allowed. Several questions are asked. My understanding of the whole situation grows as I listen to the questions of my colleagues and how they think about this topic.

We move on to the next step: the Listening Circle. The facilitator passes an object once around the circle and tells us that the person holding the object is the speaker and the rest of us respectful listeners. After one round, the object is placed in the center for more comments. I hear both worries and excitement in relation to the proposal. Everyone speaks from their head and their heart; which brings much clarity to the proposal and its consequences.

The sponsor of the proposal is asked if she wants to make any changes to the proposal. She asks for a five minute break to make a few minor changes. A good time for some tea and a sandwich which is available handy in the room. This suits me fine as I am hungry.

When we reconvene the facilitator checks if there are any new/more clarifying questions due to the changes, we also go through the listening circle one more time. This goes quickly as there were only minor changes to the proposal.

Finally the facilitator explains the Voting Process. Wow, we are given full authority, each of us, to make a personal choice if this proposal is going to move forward or not. There are six different possible votes (5 /4 / 3 / 2 / 1 finger / fold). The finger votes show different degrees of support for the proposal. A fold (= 0 fingers) would mean that the proposal is blocked. My heart starts beating a little faster. What will I vote?

After explaining the voting process the facilitate counts – ready, steady, go and we all show our hands with the number of fingers we have chosen. There is no fold/veto and most of us show 3-5 fingers which means solid acceptance. Two persons show two fingers and they share there concerns to the sponsor and group. They will still support the implementation.

The three persons who show 5 fingers are willing to take leadership for implementing the decision. I notice the sponsor is really happy about that!

Our votes and the concerns are being recorded. The sponsor and those having concerns agree to meet directly after the meeting to see how these can be considered while implementing the decision.

We Celebrate the decision that we made together!

Before the Closing circle the sponsor invites us to the whiteboard to note our Next Steps. It’s inspiring to see how much energy there is to move this decision forward and how much care is given to meet the concerns that were voiced.

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