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Order and Organization
Check out this small rope. What can it do? A Jump Rope maybe. A headband? (Only if you are a hippie like me:) A belt? How about keeping thousands of people organized in a very small space. We recently had a trip to Disneyland. As I was in line for so many awesome rides, I was observing how organized and orderly hundreds, no, thousands of people were as we followed the ropes as we headed to our greatly anticipated 2 minute ride! We waited patiently for anywhere from ten to forty five minutes for that thrill that can only come from such a magical place! Our roped off column was maybe two feet wide. We snaked around the lines that could be how long??? I do know that at the end of the day our walking calculators on our wrist indicated that we had walked over seven miles! Disneyland typically has 44,000 guests per day. Add 10,000 staff and there you have it! Wow! To see that many people organized in such a manner that you get where you want and when you want is no small feat for sure! And one small rope holds all those people. Wow. Do you have order an organization in your life? In your marriage? In your relationships? I would challenge you to check out just one area at a time. Just one. Make changes. Small changes. And see how one tiny rope, one small change can make a difference.
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Is this you? Is this someone you have in your life FOR you? Is this someone you need in your life?

Part consultant, part motivational speaker, part therapist and part rent-a-friend, coaches work with managers, entrepreneurs, and just plain folks, helping them define and achieve their goals — career, personal, or most often, both.

Coaches have the ability to view things from afar — in what some call ‘from the sidelines”— and to shed new light on difficult situations. Often they can act as a sounding board through tough decisions, help sharpen skills, and motivate.

Here are some qualities that a good Life Coach must have:

  • Regularly scheduled meetings. These regularly scheduled calls will or meetings prompt clients to get more done than they would if left to their own devices. Think about it, if you work out with a personal trainer at the gym, you work much harder than on your own. For years I was a personal trainer and I remember one client who hated working out was very faithful to come her two times a week. What she said was “I know you are here counting on me, so that is the reason I come”. So her motivation helped her to succeed.  Clients take bigger actions, set bigger goals and think bigger when they work with a professional coach.
  • The trained life coach knows how to help you set the right goals, make more money, and structure your personal and professional life to achieve greater productivity with less effort. You’ll achieve more in less time with the input of a Life Coach on your side.
  • Delivery. A well-trained life coach knows how to use the right words so that you are naturally motivated. It doesn’t take brow-beating or nagging when you are working with a skilled life coach. Coaching typically works best with a weekly meeting so clients have time to integrate new ways of thinking and take action each week toward their goals. Most life coaching is done by phone and delivered in half hour to one hour coaching calls. The experience is challenging and uplifting. You’ll look forward to your weekly calls with your life coach.
  • Most people find that things start to happen very quickly after hiring a life sessions

So are you that “Life Coach” for someone in your life? Do you take the task seriously? Do you realize the impact and influence you may have for the benefit of someone?  Do you realize the enormity of the task and the awesome gift that you have to give. That someone wants from you! Wow. Think about it!


Or are you the “coachee” counting on your coach for walking the road with you to help you get to where it is you are looking to get? This is a pretty big deal to make yourself vulnerable and open to receiving a gift! What a blessing you have I would say!

Blessings abound, my friend. We just have to seek it out. The answer is usually right in front of us!

Find that someone, whether it is someone for you to coach or someone to coach you. I bet you will find a benefit…..for both of you!



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What is Coaching?

Gary & Cathy O’Neal are trained mediators. In addition to mediation services and conflict resolution training to the business community they are experienced consultants to the Christian Camping Industry and non-profit sector. O’Neal Mediation & Coaching Services offers Leadership, Marriage, Pre-Marriage and Life Coaching. Gary & Cathy are not licensed counselors, medical doctors or attorneys and as such they will not offer legal or medical advice. They offer solid biblical insight through career and life experience and continued education (please see “About Us”) for further information about their background and experience.

O’Neal Mediation & Coaching Services will refer clients to other professionals if the client’s needs are outside the area of the O’Neal’s experience and training.

The following information is provided to give our clients a clear understanding of the differences in these areas and to assist potential clients in making a good decision regarding their personal needs for assistance.

Many ask what is the difference between consulting, counseling, mentoring and coaching. Counselors look from past to the present assisting the client with healing emotional wounds and often giving the client a fresh perspective on the past. Coaches on the other hand look from the present to the future assisting the client identify roadblocks to their goals and dreams. Consider for example a football coach… the coach can see the whole team and can clearly see things from the sidelines that the players on the field are not aware of. He brings perspective and experience to the team and assists them in reaching the goal. While there are common characteristic qualities and skills in each of these, the following is a basic explanation of the distinctiveness of each field of training and experience.


Coaches work with people who intend to make changes in their lives to accomplish more or enhance the quality of their lives. With listening skills, effective questioning, and challenges, coaches assist their clients in reaching their clients goals and solutions.  Coaches provide options to consider and exchange ideas. The client sets the agenda. Many coaches specialize in one or more areas, for example: executive coaching, retirement coaching etc. Some work by telephone and have nationwide or global practices. Licensing is not currently a requirement, but certifications are awarded to coaches with specific training and experience.


Counselors work with individuals who have diagnosable illness and/or behavior that may prevent them from functioning well. States require that counselors and therapists be licensed to practice based upon advanced degrees and ongoing education.


Consultants are generally considered experts in their field.  They use their experience to implement change, lead management teams, to manage projects, and structure staff, management and organizational development.  They make recommendations and point out potential flaws in organizational leadership and process. Some companies engage consultants on an ongoing basis still others hire consultants for a specific project.


Mentors work with people who are starting out in a business, ministry or life transition where the mentor has experience.

Pastoral Counselors

Pastoral Counselors work with people desiring a deeper understanding of scripture in order to apply this understanding to everyday life.  Pastoral Counselors have extensive biblical training and/or seminary degrees along with training and certification in Pastoral Counseling.

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Marriage CoachingThree things I’ve learned in life:
“If you are going to help me you must see through my eyes.”
“There is nothing more important than relationships”
“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

My wife Cathy and I own three businesses. Tonight I want to talk about two of them and how and why they came into being. One is O’Neal Mediation Services. Mediation is a form alternative dispute resolution. We assist folks in resolving their disputes without going to court. We don’t make decisions for them; we guide them through a process that allows them to make their own decisions that hopefully lead to a peaceable agreement. Disputes can be as simple as conflict at work or in the family, a neighbor who builds a fence on your property, contract disputes, contractor / client disputes, and often issues stemming from divorce like custody issues, division of assets and the like.

The other business I want to tell you about is “For Keeps” Pre-marriage and Marriage Coaching. Statistics show that 50% of all marriages fail. Just as Bill Jhung coaches us in our business Cathy and I coach folks in their marriages. We help them set goals, identify barriers to those goals and assist them in attaining them. For some it may be as simple as helping them communicate, others need help fighting fair or resolving disputes, blended family issues, still others may be dealing with “empty nester syndrome” or find they need to care for their aging parents… or both.

In addition we coach couples planning or thinking about marriage. We developed a six-session course that covers everything from sexual intimacy to budgeting and dealing with extended families and in-laws. We do our best to help couples prepare for marriage and not be a negative statistic.

Cathy and I have been married for more than thirty years. We met at a tavern called Pizza Villa, where Rockin’ Robin is now. Back then it was on the north end of town. Across the street where an empty lot is now, was the Coeur d’Alene Drive-in. The Wilma Theater, downtown now also an empty lot on the corner of Sherman and Second Street, was the only other movie house in town. I borrowed a quarter from a friend so I could challenge the pool table where she was playing with her friend Holly. Make no mistake, I was attracted to her, but it was really “Love at First Sight”! I asked Cathy, AKA the Babemeister to marry me a week later. That night she said yes although we waited for several months.

Some call us crazy others call us entrepreneurs, during our thirty years together we have been:

  • Carpenter
  • Conference Center Executive Director
  • Executive Chef / Caterer
  • Construction Company Manager
  • Gift Shop Manager
  • Executive Pastor – Pastoral Counseling, Weddings, Funerals
  • Court Abstractor Private Contractor
  • Personal Trainer
  • Dental / Lab Technician
  • USDA Employees
  • Critical Incident Stress Manager
  • Grief Counselor
  • Founded a Non-profit Organization
  • Owned six Small Businesses (including the three we now own)
  • Certified Life Coach

It has been one wild ride!

The best decisions I have made in life have been through my bride’s inspiration, encouragement, and direction. She has stuck with me through all the good times and bad. We have raised two beautiful daughters. We have had many successes and some failures. We have buried both of our fathers. I cannot imagine life without her. She is patient with me even though I sometimes drive her crazy and she believes in me more than I do.

We do what we do because we think life is too short to stay mad at someone else. Remaining in conflict takes a mental and physical toll on your life. It will make you old before your time… it can kill you. My friend and former mediation and counseling associate used to say: “Bitterness is a poison you take to hurt someone else.”

I believe that we are all shaped by our circumstances. They are part of our history but our experiences do not have to define us. We can choose to be bitter or better.

My grandfather was blind and often let the grandchildren guide him around. Once I walked him into a low branch he patiently told me: “If you are really going to help me you have to see through my eyes.”

My former boss and mentor was Dr. Emory Campbell. While literally on his death bed he called me to tell me goodbye. The last thing he said to me in his labored breathing was: “Gary… there is nothing more important than relationships”

My father was a pastor but was not a powerful speaker that riveted his audience with a booming voice or big stature, he was soft-spoken, articulate, and non-judgmental, the perfect example of the old adage: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Dad’s audiences listened intently because they knew that he loved them and wanted what was best for them.

Cathy and I see all of our clients together, as a couple. It was the insight of our experiences and the memory of these men that have molded and shaped us… we love people and want to help them. We’re passionate about it. We can’t fix folks… I once thought I could, but I can’t. But I do believe that we can help folks in conflict find a better, greater more rewarding life. Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘Peace as the absence of conflict.”

If you know someone we might assist in finding some peace in their lives, please give them one of our cards, Thanks

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