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TOOL 4 Review – Five-Finger Feedback

By John Pearson

Fast Feedback in 3 Minutes!

Ken Blanchard reminds us that “feedback is the breakfast of champions.” And Romans 12:3 (NIV) cautions: “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…”

So here’s a Fast Feedback Tool that will immediately improve your board and committee meetings.

TOOL #4: FIVE-FINGER FEEDBACK

Use This Tool to Enrich Engagement and Immediate Feedback

Tool #4 in the new resource, ECFA Tools and Templates for Effective Board Governance, can be used creatively with the other 21 tools.

At the conclusion of a board’s Nominating Committee meeting we facilitated, the newly elected committee chair asked for feedback.

“At every board or committee meeting I chair,” he told us, “I always ask each participant to rate the effectiveness of our meeting. So on a scale of one to five (five is high), I’ll ask each of you to give me your rating. How did we do?”

The committee members each shared their rating—holding up the appropriate number of fingers—and also shared the rationale for the rating. Next, the Nominating Committee chair gave his rating—a five—which was an encouragement to everyone.

At our next meeting, I know two things will happen:

  1. We’ll be asked to rate the meeting.

  2. Throughout the meeting, we’ll be thoughtfully contributing (listening more than talking) to help the ratings stay high!

It’s a brilliant idea—and it took less than three minutes.

Order the tools book from Amazon by clicking on this title: ECFA Tools and Templates for Effective Board Governance: Time-Saving Solutions for Your Board, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. The book gives you full access to all 22 tools and templates—formatted as Word documents so you can customize the tools for your board’s unique uses.

BOARD DISCUSSION: What if…you’re the chair and the Five-Finger Feedback exercise reveals low scores (just one or two fingers up)? What would you say or do?

MORE RESOURCES: If you prefer paper-and-pencil surveys, check out the “Bonus Resource Tool” on page 30. You can download, customize and then distribute this quick five-question survey just before adjournment. The five-minute evaluation asks board members to rate their preparation, their engagement in the meeting, and the overall engagement of the board. Plus, there’s room to list a highlight and a “lowlight.” The last question is a fill-in-the-blanks request: “Next month’s meeting would be more effective if…”

 

This article was originally posted on the “Governance of Christ-Centered Organizations” blog, hosted by ECFA.
John Pearson, a board governance consultant and author, was ECFA’s governance blogger from 2011 to 2020.
© 2021, ECFA and John Pearson. All rights reserved.

 


This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.

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