Five finger feedback

At my new job the quality management team regularly offers workshops that the whole team attends. One detail has repeatedly come up and I want to present it here, too. It is a new-to-me method to ask for specific feedback: The five finger method.

For each finger of the hand, a specific question needs to be addressed. Many of the fingers are easy to remember if you imagine gestures that would include that finger, and/or the meaning that that finger carries in our culture.
1) The thumb. What went well?
2) The index finger. What could be improved?
3) The middle finger. What went wrong? Negative feedback.
4) The ring finger. What would we like to keep?
5) The pinkie finger. What did not get enough attention?
This method is certainly not suited for groups a lot larger than a dozen or so participants, especially not if everybody were asked to say something for every single finger (which we didn’t have to). But for a small group, I found it really helpful to have the visual reminder of the kind of feedback we were being asked to give, and to go through it in the order that was presented by just counting down the fingers on your hand.

Leave a Reply