Welcome to Propel Coaching
I’m Larry Skahill and I’m a Professional Life Coach with the American Association of Christian Counselors. I recently completed further studies in conjunction with the International Christian Coach Association for Board Certification as a Master Life Coach. Additionally, I’m working towards my certification with the International Coach Federation, the oldest and highest standards organization in the world for the profession of coaching. I am also a Certified Professional Manager with the National Management Association. For further information, please check out these fine organizations using the links in the lower right corner of this page.
Have you ever had a goal along with the necessary resources…time, money, people, equipment, space – whatever –to achieve that goal and yet somehow, you never succeeded? Perhaps coaching is for you. Dwight Bain, one of my lead trainers with the AACC (and Executive Director of the ICCA) says: “Coaching is about results.” Click on the chart to the right and you’ll see how powerful coaching is in helping folks reach their goals.
What is Coaching?
Most people are familiar with coaching in the world of sports and athletics. Coaching then made moves into personal fitness training and more. Starting in the nineteen-eighties, the practice of coaching in corporate and business settings grew slowly but steadily. Coaching’s popularity in the boardroom is hotter than ever. Today, people use coaches for a variety of specialties – everything from marriage and parenting to nutrition and spiritual growth.
But what exactly is coaching?
The International Coach Federation defines coaching as: “partnering with clients in a thought provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
My personal style of coaching is solutions-focused and outcome-oriented. While paying particular attention to the client’s personality, the client and I engage in a creative process of discovery. Discovery of (among many other things): the client’s strengths and other parts of their identity; deeply held values and; their passions. I say discovery because one of the main tenets of coaching is that the client is the expert on their life – not the coach. Coaching allows the client to take a whole different view of their life and goals, from failure to learning; from what is wrong to what is possible. Although coaching is non-directive (the client is in charge) it is a structured inquiry; enabling the client to see options, envision results and find planning that flows naturally from these guided conversations.
Results-oriented coaching asks four basic questions:
1)What do you want?
2)How might you get it?
3)How will you overcome obstacles?
4)How would you know if you got it?
Coaching is a distinct profession with regards to those of counseling (past-focused, fix what is wrong); mentoring (the mentor is the expert in a “do-what-I-did” methodology); consulting (again the consultant is the expert in a given field of endeavor); and discipling (follow my way). Don’t get me wrong, each of these professions has their uses and can be a great help. In fact, beware the coach that puts on one of these hats without the training, credentialing where necessary and the client’s prior agreement.
Coaching goes beyond questions and conversations. Although I strongly believe in encouragement and motivation (you don’t want a coach who doesn’t), actions will be taken, exercises performed and questions answered to provide the client with: challenges, empowerment, action plans with accountability, motivations when needed to overcome obstacles – all to achieve the results the client is looking for.
“Coaching is about results!”
How can coaching benefit me?
People get into coaching for an incredibly diverse number of reasons. Among others, here are some ways that coaching might benefit you:
- Overall life satisfaction
- Improved relationships
- Spiritual growth
- A meaningful Vision for your life
- Reaching your career goals
- Making tough decisions
- Financial goals
- Leading a healthy lifestyle
- Adapting to life changes
- Casting a new Vision
- Improved leadership
- Project management
- An improved bottom line
- Effectiveness & Influence
- Balanced home and work life
- Conflict resolution
How do I get started?
Many of the free coaching resources available at this site are designed to help you “self-coach.” You need to be honest with yourself though: Are you self-accountable? Lack of accountability means you’re most likely not ready for coaching. It is one of the few reasons I will fire a client. I’m a coach, not a nag. For those wanting the distinct advantages and fresh viewpoints a one-on-one or group coaching relationship can (and should) provide, check out the “Advanced Coaching Page” (coming soon).
Whichever path is for you, take a look at the free Coaching Readiness evaluation form from Propel Coaching accessed through the sidebar : “Are You Ready?”
After that, I’d spend some time in reflection. Do you know what you want from coaching? Reread the “Benefits of Coaching” listed previously.
Is your life lacking a passionate purpose? Check out the article “What Are You Doing with Your One and Only Life?” Are you determined to have a meaningful life filled with purpose? Perhaps you need help developing a Vision. For that, check out the free “V.I.P. Vision Toolkit.™”
If you already have a vision or other goal in mind, do you need help developing a plan? Then check out Propel Coaching’s free “Living Life Backwards” tools (coming soon) for strategy and planning. Perhaps you have a goal and a plan, but obstacles seem insurmountable. Find methods to use obstacles to help you redefine and improve your goals in the Propel coaching article “The Glory of Obstacles.”
If you’ve read and completed all of the free coaching tools listed above and would like to further explore coaching, click on advanced coaching (coming soon). The advanced coaching page is also where you will find contact forms to try out coaching with Professional Life Coach, Larry Skahill, head coach at Propel Coaching.
Finally, beyond self-coaching, a vital facet of beginning the process of coaching is finding a coach. First of all, is the coach trained and certified by an authority you trust? Are there friends you can ask for a referral? Does your coach specialize in your particular topic for coaching? Once you find a qualified coach who meets all of these criteria, you should check for your “fit” with the coach. This of course might take some time as you develop your coaching relationship.
God bless you richly on your journey!
Larry Skahill is a “recovering rocket scientist,” father of four, award-winning author/speaker and Professional Life Coach who lives on the beautiful Central Coast of California where he pursues his passions of spearfishing, writing and life coaching.