Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

Elliott Avenue
United States

51811 seattle 0202_2.jpg


Praesent commodo cursus magna, vel scelerisque nisl consectetur et. Curabitur blandit tempus porttitor. Fusce dapibus, tellus ac cursus commodo, tortor mauris condimentum nibh, ut fermentum massa justo sit amet risus. Cras mattis consectetur purus sit amet fermentum. Cras mattis consectetur purus sit amet fermentum.

Discovering the Why Factor

Alan Andersen

I would like you to think for a moment like a great company.

We teach companies that their why (which we call purpose) must be discovered vs. made up.

Your challenge is to discover what lies deep within you, correctly name it and then lead with it – this is your why. While the what is strategized and created, the why must be discovered and brought forth – in other words, it is already in there, so go get it.

When True Life Coaching (now Shandel Group) celebrated ten years in business, we were proud to say that our why had not changed from day one. In contrast, our growth requires the what and the how to continuously evolve. Things never stay the same around here … except our why.

Currently on our roster are two companies in the fifth generation of ownership. Both are in the middle of a huge change of the what and how. What keeps them grounded is their unchanging why, which allows for agility as markets change and business models morph. It is super fun to watch new leadership continue their great-grandfathers’ legacy.

At the same time, we are helping two start-ups who are growing spooky fast.

Company A is choosing to invest in the painstaking process of discovering their big why, defining their culture and strategy while differentiating themselves from the competition. The result is they are on track to make nearly two times their projections, and doing it with fewer people, all who love their work!

Company B start-up unfortunately is still in the weeds. The leader is unwilling to take a moment to invest in the why, believing he can lead with his personality alone. The result is a bottom-line accomplishment of the what with a high emotional drain to other team players, not to mention the lost opportunities.

As a leader – whether of a company, a family or life – can you articulate what you are uniquely good at and why you are so excited about living your life? On that foundation, can you strengthen your what and how until you are not just good, but great?

Why does it matter? Why do you matter?

You matter because you have something distinctive and special to contribute to this world before you leave it. That’s why.

Your Coach,

This article was previously featured on True Life Coaching.

Emotional Intelligence 101

Alan Andersen

I was surrounded by 100 amazing women last Saturday at our 2011 Women's Leadership Summit.  It was a high octane 6 hours and all of our heads were spinning and our fingers twittering with all the new tools we had acquired.

I think the rest of the Seattle leadership world must have been jealous as I have received great feedback and questions. I thought it would be helpful to share some basic definitions to catch everyone up on what we mean by Emotional Intelligence.

What exactly is Emotional Intelligence?  There are many definitions out there and because it is a fairly new discovery I think we are still settling on the best one.

I like simplicity so for me…emotional intelligence is the ability to label, understand and manage your own emotions first and then to perceive emotions and empathize with others.

Robert Cooper, author of Executive EQ, defined it this way, “emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate high levels of collaboration and productivity.”

Best Selling author of the top selling book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, labels the five emotional competencies:
1. Self Awareness: The ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, as well as their effect on others.
2. Self Regulation: The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods and the propensity to suspend judgment and think before acting.
3. Motivation: A passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status and a propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence.
4. Empathy: The ability to understand the emotional make up of other people.
5. Social Skills: A proficiency in managing relationships and building networks.

By mastering each of these pillars, we are essentially managing and shaping our emotions in a way that will improve our ability to make decisions, increase influence, and lead effectively.
It's like taking your emotional temperature.  Putting it another way, I use the visual of 3 glasses of water.  While keeping one crystal clear, adding a few drops of red food coloring to the second glass making it cloudy and then dumping half the bottle in the third to show a definite change of color to red.

Knowing when are you escalating from clear to cloudy before you escalate to red in self-awareness.  Once in red, you are now in a stormy emotional state and your thinking brain shuts down. When we get to “red” our body feel threatened and kicks into the fight, flight or freeze state hi-jacking our logical, rational brain.

Dr. Leslie Parrott, Co-Founder of Real Relationships, absolutely nailed this first pillar, Self-Awareness.  Using her vast knowledge of counseling, therapy, leadership training, and relationship coaching she gave us a road map to follow to increase our ability to know and understand our personal self better.

My favorite tool was the way Dr. Parrott applied the Johari Window to our self-discovery experience – awesome.  She also drilled down and gave amazing insight into the make-up of our emotional brain.  I loved her analogy of wishing we had an “emotional storm predictor”  YES – I wish I had a barometer warning me that today I would be taken hostage by my emotions so be warned – prepare.  NOPE – those darn emotions hit us out of no where so we need to be prepared.

More to come next week on the other pillars of EQ and I welcome your questions, thoughts, and ideas.  What is EQ to you?

Your Coach,

This article previously appeared on True Life Coaching

Confession, Commencement, Conviction

Alan Andersen

shandel brick


I was an early adapter to blogging, but it didn't last long because I was conflicted about what to write about, and was always critiquing my own efforts. I tried again, only this time with two blogs - like that was a good idea! Well, it was at the time; but, alas, there was no vision, no plan, no discipline.

My name is Shandel Slaten, founder and principle coach of True Life Coaching.
As you'll quickly see, I'm a tell-it-as-it-is gal, and I want to enter the conversation about what we can do to change the world by changing the leader.

Every single day, I encounter people and situations that make me realize the tremendous impact that leaders have on their spheres of influence. Some influence people for the better. Others, unfortunately, for the worse.

Commencement (again):

So I'm trying again with this whole blogging thing, because I want to share those stories and talk about them with you. I want leaders to impact their sphere of influence with the very best they have to offer. And I'll bet you want some help with this as well, or have some good thoughts about it, so I'd love for your comments and questions to shape this conversation.


Last month, I was in a strategy meeting with Dr. Bret Simmons, UNR Leadership Professor andorganizational behavior expert, and after 30 minutes was convicted to my core to stop making excuses and get in the game.

So here's my conviction:  my heart for leaders and my passion for people to live their purpose is worth the investment of time, energy, and heart I aim to dedicate to this adventure we call blogging. I am a lover of truth and wisdom. I want to see people be the best they can be TODAY! I want to help as many people as I can finish their race knowing they did their personal best and never stopped growing, learning, and being! Starting with me and you!

Please share all feedback, comments, and tips on how to be the best blogger ever! :) I start today because: If not now, when?

Be the best you can be today!

Your Coach,

This article previously appeared on True Life Coaching