Rule 9: Deploy the 10-25-65 rule.

Written by Alistair Gordon, 04 Jun 2020

When designing curriculum-based small group coaching, its important to remember that it is a coaching approach, not ‘training’. The right elements in the correct proportion to one another are important.

Theoretical ideas or content delivery have a place in coaching pods, but it’s limited. Any Run Sheets you deliver should reflect this balance.

We suggest the 10-25-65 rule.

10 per cent of session spent on feedback

We recommend six or seven minutes at the beginning of each pod session for discussion of participant attempts to deploy new leadership skills and approaches since the last session. Successes? Failures? In progress? What did they learn? At the end of the session, for one minute each per participant, we always ask for the leadership punchlines they took out of the session, and what they intend to go back to the workplace and deploy. These are called commitments.

25 per cent content delivery

What are the key leadership concepts we are going to discuss? Which model might we be introducing? Which conceptual discussion about the difficulty of executing one part of the leader’s job might we have?

65 per cent coaching the participants

Typically, this is the most freeform part of the session, where participants talk about their own challenges on their teams, and share experiences and solutions.

Our fundamental facilitation principle is that “the answer is in the room”. Coaches use the I-GRROW model to tease out different realities and different options for action, before inviting the participants to decide what they will do (which might be different in each case).

The opportunity for the participants – even inexperienced or new leaders – to self-learn is immense, if you give them the space to do so.


We deploy all of our coaching principles to make sure these percentage are roughly correct. We talk during our accreditation about a two-hats concept. The first hat is for facilitation (delivering content) and the second hat is for facilitating via coaching (asking questions, teasing out options and opportunities to lead more effectively).

A typical small group coaching pod session requires the coach to swap hats many times. The best coaches know when the right time to do this is.

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