Coach U and Corporate Coach U Guiding Principles

What is a “guiding principle?”

A guiding principle is a basic understanding of something fundamental about the human condition; a statement that a particular behaviour or phenomenon always occurs, a theory that consistently explains the facts. Guiding principles are like living, breathing things that adapt and grow over time as others test and explore them further. The guiding principles of Coach U and Corporate Coach U also describe an essential aspect of coaching: they speak to what coaches do when they coach and also who they are with their clients.

How the guiding principles originated

The guiding principles grew out of an ongoing conversation among experienced coaches and faculty of Coach U and Corporate Coach U. The questions they sought to answer were, “What does it mean to be a coach?” and “What needs does coaching fulfil in the world?” In answering these questions, several fundamental truths about people emerged, beliefs about people that all the coaches shared. These truths became the guiding principles.

The guiding principles are simple, and so basic to human interaction that they typically remain invisible, like the air around us that sustains us. Describing them to people is like describing water to fish. Although they are universally true, each individual has a unique experience of each guiding principle based on his or her cultural and personal history. Therefore, staying true to the collective wisdom, the discussion and exploration of the guiding principles will continue to evolve and grow what it means to be a coach and what needs coaching fulfills in the world.