Fist to Five

Posted by Ann Deaton Share Your Voice

It is not easy for most of us to stay present to this moment, and to be self aware of who we are being right now. That’s particularly true when we are stressed and busy. One good way to become self aware is to take time several times each day to look at whether you are bringing your best self to the experience. Give yourself a hand periodically—the hand being holding up 0 to 5 fingers as a quick rating of your current presence, emotion, and behavior. Hold up 5 fingers if you are bringing all your talents, wisdom, and positivity to the present moment. Give yourself a 1 or a 2 if you’re distracted, irritable, or worried and only partly present. Give yourself a Fist (0) if you feel you are not present and effective at all. This Fist to Five exercise can enable you to notice what is going on inside you, and this awareness enables you to choose whether to continue or change what you are doing and who you are being. Try Fist to Five and see what happens.

Ask a question. Often we are so sure that we know something that we don’t ask others input or perspective. This week, whenever you find yourself asserting that you have the answer, ask a question. For example, in a meeting instead of saying “Our top priority this week is sales”, ask your team what they think the top priority should be and why. At home with your children, instead of telling them not to argue with one another, ask a question instead---maybe “what do you two want to do when you are finished arguing?” You may be pleasantly surprised by the wisdom of those around you, and the increased motivation and engagement when you ask a question instead of tell others your answer.

If you are a teacher, emotional intelligence is especially important to your success. To find out how emotionally intelligent you are, take the quiz at While you are on the site, check out some of the emotional intelligence videos and other resources for your class.


⇐ Previous Post: Fist to Five Next Post: Girl Power! ⇒

Small Ann Deaton I am a leadership coach, and Managing Partner in Bounce. I love to coach and facilitate with individuals and systems experiencing significant change and growth. The clients I work with, regardless of their age or position, are talented and creative individuals willing to look with fresh eyes at their challenges and opportunities, and to take action based on their discoveries. As a result, they find that they are capable of accomplishing far greater things than they ever imagined. What do you want to accomplish today? Who do you want to be?


Changing The Game

Back to Changing The Game

Recent Posts

  1. Emotional Intelligence--Still a Critical Leadership Skill
  2. Coaching with Visual Imagery
  3. Strengths-focused evening with young leaders
  4. Sharing Polarities Management with Community Leaders
  5. Coaching Skills for Leaders and Managers

View by Topic

  1. Athletes
  2. Authenticity
  3. Awareness
  4. Balance
  5. Challenge
  6. Choice
  7. Coaches
  8. Community
  9. Courage
  10. Educators
  11. Emotional Intelligence
  12. Experience
  13. Fear
  14. Leadership
  15. Learning
  16. Love
  17. Organizational Leaders
  18. Parents
  19. Perspective
  20. Presence
  21. Reflection
  22. Relationship
  23. Strengths
  24. Trust
  25. Values
  26. Young People

Voices of Leadership

Richmond leaders share their perspectives on and practices in the human art of leadership.

Visit Voices of Leadership ⇒