Tag Archives: true life coaching

Ran flying

Using Change for Maximum Performance​

What’s in a name? Well, with a unique name like Shandel – a lot!

When my dad named me, he could not have known what line of work I would spend my life doing. But it would be easy to claim that when he chose Shandel he was being prophetic!

How so? Shandel is an adapted spelling of the original word, chandelle. A chandelle is the term that describes a maximum performance maneuver in which a pilot uses momentum from a 180° turn to gain new altitude.

It was invented by the French to avoid enemy pursuit during air battles in World War I. (We do it all the time now when we take off in one direction and the destination is in the other. But in WWI it was sometimes a matter of life or death!)

Doing a chandelle means not only reversing your direction but doing it full-throttle and while climbing. Not an easy maneuver!

Change of any kind is not an easy maneuver, is it? We may resist at first the painful package change comes in. But the only way we “grow forward” is by looking pain and uncertainty straight in the face and riding them to the next level of life.

New! The Shandel Group

That’s what I get to help my clients do every day: chandelles! What a joy to live out the meaning of my name each day in my work and in fulfilling my purpose.  That’s why I’m very excited to announce my latest change!

We are launching The Shandel Group to serve the need of our corporate clients. This month True Life is celebrating our 14th year in business, and I realized that more than 70th percent of our work involves talent management.

The Shandel Group is not taking the place of True Life Coaching in any way. It simply is a subsidiary. As it is, we now spend a majority of our time coaching leaders on maximizing the effectiveness of their team, facilitated executive off sites and team development workshops, using job benchmarking assessments for hiring, onboarding and developing top A players. My days are spent coaching executives, facilitating quarterly and annual strategic meetings as well as trouble shooting conflict, communication and trust issues so the obstacles can be moved in high growth organizations. My love will always be keynote speaking and the communication workshops we do, but that is a big change from the 1:1 life coaching that True Life, Inc., was birthed out of.

So, nothing has changed, while everything has. Please join me in the soft launch of The Shandel Group! Of course your referrals are the only way we grow our business, so thank you!

Your Coach,


Change plane

5 Steps to Embrace Change For Your Next Level

Change freaks people out, doesn’t it? Even if you drive change and embrace challenges with open arms, you can feel unnerved when you are not in control of the change that’s happening. (You high “D” people know what I am talking about, don’t you!)

Never was this more vivid than the day I jumped off Tiger Mountain in tandem with an expert para glide instructor. I was having the time of my life when all of sudden he warns me, it is going to get super bumpy! Yikes! I honestly thought we were going to be shaken out of the sky!

What was happening, though, was very strategic. The instructor was guiding us through this rocky thermal patch so that we could grab the turbulent air and use it to ride higher and longer. And let me tell you, what a view! That lesson has stuck with me for years.

Steps to Embracing Change

So how do we ride the turbulence and make it work for us?

• Identify what is changing – or as William Bridges states in his Transition modelwhat is ending? We must face, name, and grieve what is ending in our life before we can begin to shift.

• Be honest with yourself about 1) what it is that you fear, 2) what is uncertain and 3) what is truly unknown. Give yourself permission to be in that place for a period of time.

• Grieve what is never going to be. Incorporate what you bring from the past into the new envisioned future. Do this even if this takes just a second because it is not that big of a deal. Do it!

• Be grateful for the change that is happening even if it comes in a turbulent package. Look for the benefits it offers and invite the positive possibilities to take root in your mind. Gratitude for what was and for what is can breed for a very healthy model.

• Grow your change muscle. Know that as soon as you embrace this change, another will come your way. It is the process of growth and it will never end as long as you are growing and evolving as an individual and company.

If you’re a leader, look at Bridges’s “4 P model” to help get your team onboard. I think it works for personal change as well.

• Purpose: Explain why the change has to happen.

• Picture: Share your vision of how it will look and feel.

• Plan: Create and lay out a detailed, step-by-step plan so people know what to expect.

• Part: Give people a part to play in the transition and begin the new change.

Do you get my monthly newsletter, True Takeaways? These are just a few thoughts from the main article and I do hope you will sign up today.

Your Coach,



Six Profound Ways to be a Positive Person

Have you ever tried to smile while being negative or critical? It just doesn’t work. Smiling has incredible benefits, from helping you live longer, to enhancing your immune system, to making you more attractive! WOW!

Last summer I wrote this article to help us become people who are more positive and less critical. Challenge yourself: Are you a person who S.M.I.L.E.S.?

6 Profound Ways To Be A Positive Person Who S.M.I.L.E.S.

1. Story Management

We all have a story that is running through our heads.  It is your inner chatter, your personal narrative, and your self-talk that every event and every fact is filtered through before you take an action.

What I find is that people are telling awful, critical stories to themselves. When we look at how we are speaking to our “self” versus the way we say things to others, it is clear that we would never speak the things outloud that we are telling to our “self.”

Take a moment and listen to your story. Does it makes you smile or cringe? Then take steps to change the story if you are not pleased with what you discover.

2. Make it Matter

Positive people make their tragedies and suffering matter. They have seasons of darkness, pain, and heartache, and yet they keep finding the light, the good, the meaning as they refuse to give into self-pity.

Aristotle said “Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.”

Positive people are those who have learned the art of turning their pain into their purpose. They are the eagles who rise above adversity to make it matter.

3. Intentions – state them

Positive people are moving forward in life. They know their intentions and they are moving in the direction of the future. They do not get bogged down in their to-do list and they do not dwell on the past or get paralyzed in the present. There is movement toward a bright future.

It’s a little sacrilegious but I think setting goals can be a negative and harmful experience for people at certain times in their lives. It can be discouraging and hopeless, but you can always have positive intentions that you pursue with earnest. Now let’s be clear, I teach people how to goal set, and I make a living helping people reach their goals, yet at the same time I believe there is something better. I believe that all people greatly benefit from having stated (and written down) intentions.

This shift worked incredibly for my frazzled friend who has 4 kids and was headed into Summer with a laundry list of things she wanted to do with and teach her kids. It seemed overwhelming and her story was, “It’s never going to happen, so why try?” I invited her to change her language to intentions and get out of the details into the desired outcomes. The exercise shifted her entire mindset. She accomplished more than she intended to and had joy in the journey of achieving her “goals.

4. Live your values

This is a drum I loudly beat to everyone I know. Your values are the rudder that steer your life. Positive people do not compromise their values, even when it hurts. Even when there is a personal cost, they stand by their values and honor them.

The most miserable people I know are always complaining about something but they are not standing for anything. Honoring your values takes work but the benefits of living out what you believe pays huge dividends.

5. Excellence – not perfection

Perfectionism is the breeding ground of negativity. How many things can you actually be perfect in and if you are not perfect, then what? Whose definition of perfection are you using as a standard? If you find yourself saying, “I know, I’m a perfectionist”, I strongly suggest you start changing that story immediately. When you hold yourself to that level of perfection you inadvertently hold others to it as well. That is suffocating!

Excellence is what we can all achieve. Do your best. Celebrate your best. Live your best life. My little slogan is … Be the best you can be today.  RIGHT NOW! Be the Best RIGHT NOW!

Anything less than excellence is laziness and/or fear which then what drives us to perfection or trying nothing. Let it go and BE your best. DO your best. LIVE your best life now!

6. Smile and Be Grateful

Seriously, just smile more. Smile because you are grateful. You have so much to be thankful for, so smile and name those things. Smile when you walk down the street. Smile as you do the dishes. Smile when you make your coffee in the morning. Smile. Smile at your kids. Smile at your spouse. Smile at your boss. Smile as you encourage others. Smile. Put a reminder on your smart phone to remind you to smile and maybe one of the others above.

Above all else today be grateful and you won’t be able to help but smile!

Share below what makes you smile.

Your Coach,


Creating the Life You Desire

“There just aren’t enough hours in the day” … “If only there were two of me” … Have you ever stopped to think how many people would it actually take to live your life? In the case of True Life Coach, Mary Beth King’s clients, the answer was three – THREE people to do all that there was to be done. Can you relate? Continue reading

International Women's Day is today – LEXI Celebrates 3/23

“Women land 53% of entry-level jobs and make it to “the belly of the pipeline” in large numbers, McKinsey found. But then, female presence falls off a cliff, to 35% at the director level, 24% among senior vice presidents and 19% in the C-suite.” – Courtesy of Moss Adams

It is International Women’s Day and I had the honor of interviewing my friend, Judi Butterworth, who participated in that first march on Fifth Avenue. Together we invite women to celebrate Women’s History Month on March 23rd. One of my passionate causes is women’s leadership. How can women be feminine, strong, purpose-driven, genuine, and wonderfully female in their career of choice? I want women to be able to have great purpose in being a stay-at-home mom as well as great purpose in balancing her family, herself, and her professional life. To have women living their purpose in their specific sphere of influence and, if you will, her calling! That is why LEXI exists.


The 4th Annual LEXI Women’s Leadership Summit is on March 23rd at the Starbucks Corporate Office in downtown Seattle. Our mission is to connect, equip, and mentor women. All women lead in some way in their lives every day; LEXI connects these women, equipping them to examine, engage, and elevate their lives. Here is a great article to learn more.

What is LEXI?

Leaders Engage to eXchange Ideas. The event is not just about the 13 amazing speakers—but it is also about the collective wisdom and insight of the women in the room. This year we have two keynote speakers:

Erica Coogan, a partner at Moss Adams and Co-founder of Influence Her

Jila Javdini, a partner at Slalom Consulting

Both of these leaders have a passion to see women be all they can be at work and achieve the balance we are all looking for. How did they become partners in their respective fields? How can they balance career and the challenge of having young children at home? What is their “why” for passionately giving their time to mentor and grow the women in their HUGE spheres of influence? What are their stories and what are their “whys”?

We have 3 LEXI TALKS – (read about inspirational week at TED last week here)

Debra Trappen, Melissa Benaroya &  Kelly Mitchell will be joining us, are all of whom are amazing entrepreneurs with a wealth of knowledge to share.

7 on 7  - (can’t wait for this!)

7 women sharing for 7 minutes on their story, their passion, their one thing.

Leaders like Melody Biringer, Kim Crumpler, Jackie Jensen, Jenn Donogh, just to name a few!!!

Immediately following, we break into small groups to engage in the exchange of ideas lead by each speaker; each one of us will be part of and capture the brilliance in the room. After lunch, I am going to speak on Emotional Intelligence and debrief the EQ Assessment each woman took before attending ($100 value). The intention of this assessment is to equip women on how to improve decision making, lower stress levels, increase communication effectiveness and manage personal and professional motivation.

Special Discount Offered

Only one week left for the early bird special! For all you True Life Readers, we have a special promo code for 10% off if you register before March 15th. If you are a male or live out of town and would like information on our live stream just let me know!

Please help us spread LEXI and Happy Women’s Day to you all. 

Your Coach,





Confession, Commencement, Conviction


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.

Continue reading

11 Years of Truth-telling, Life-giving Coaching: Reflections on our Anniversary

On this exact day in 2000, I started True Life Coaching in the heart of Time Square in NYC.

Today, I am in the heart of San Francisco reflecting on 11 years and investigating our biggest opportunity to date.

Here is what I am celebrating today:

Transformed Lives

Starting with mine. It has been such an honor to serve amazing clients and see lives changed on a consistent basis.  This day is about being so thankful for a purpose filled life and all those who make it possible.  Oh how my cup overflows with… Continue reading

Why Follow Up and Accountability Matters

Slide from #2011wls on April 2nd Summit

Tonight, I am hosting a follow up call from the 2011 Women's Leadership Summit.  On April 2nd, over 100 women gathered to learn about leadership, emotional intelligence and intentional living.  One month later we gather via a conference call to talk about the progress we have made, insights we have gathered, and lessons learned.

I am passionate about follow up and accountability. Why you may ask? Because so many people invest an entire day on their professional development but do not apply the learning past the next day or next week without a support around them. Change doesn't happen in a day and it doesn't happens without practice and discipline.

If you change your beliefs about a subject, you can change your thinking and if you change your thinking, you can change your behaviors.  Results and change take root when our daily behaviors are our new habits.  The problem is that this change is hard without proper coaching, support, and accountability by others who care about you.   Care about you enough to tell you the truth that is! Continue reading

The Summer of Clarity – Accountability, Leadership, and YOU!

Accountability is a hot topic right now amongst my colleagues and clients.  Leaders are sometimes the worst at being accountable to their personal and professional growth.  Think about it.  When was the last time you were so honest with yourself that you had that urgent feeling to make a real change?

How long did it last? Continue reading