Shandel Group Quarterly Newsletter - Are Your Connections Real and Full of Joy?

Happy Back to Action Day!

If you are like me the day after Labor Day signifies Summer is over! My muscle memory of going back to school the day after Labor Day is in full swing. I am inviting you to join me to finish Q3 focused, and conclude 2021 strong, and with a goal to start planning for 2022. Let's go!

We are in the middle of our 2021 S.E.R.V.E. Leadership series. If you missed how leadership requires Self-Awareness and the willingness to Extend Trust, we invite you to catch up and then lean into this article on REAL CONNECTION.

"When I think about popular culture, I can't help but think that we're living in the age of loneliness. There's this illusion that we all have instant access to each other, but we actually have no real connection." - Madonna Ciccone

We live in a world of lots of activity, but little connection. As a leader, you have the opportunity to lead your people into the thing the human soul longs for, real connection. The first step is simply to be real and authentic. To be so self-aware and confident in your person, that you can practice self-forgetfulness and simply engage your people with genuine interest.

There is true magic in learning to lead from your heart as well as your head. Identifying emotions in others and taking the time to forge an authentic connection is a true art. There are numerous ways you can help people feel connected, known, and appreciated, here are a few to get you started.


  1. Each person needs to be known. Do you see them as a person? Do you know their children's names and activities, their pet stories, and their passions/hobbies? Do you appreciate them for WHO they are, not just valued for what they do?

  1. Everyone needs to know their work matters and is making a difference, even if only to you. They long to know they are needed and valued. They need to be told their job is essential and what they are doing contributes to your success. (See Working Genius below)

  1. All employees need to have some kind of measurement to know they are contributing and the ability to see how they are improving in their role. Each person needs to know they are succeeding and that you see and are noting the advancement they are displaying. Patrick Lencioni, suggests each employee is able to answer the question, "Am I succeeding?" I like that.

  1. Choose vulnerability over transparency and know the difference. You can be transparent and tell people too much, but as we shared last time, vulnerability is about sharing real things that could be potentially harmful. HOWEVER, in a trusting environment, we only grow our trust and connection by being fully who we are and growing fiercely in that self-knowledge.

YES, to have your people feel deep connection, you have to connect yourself. For nearly two decades, I have been using assessments to speed up the process of connection. It grieves me to hear, “Yeah, I have done all those assessments.”  I already know they have missed the ONGOING opportunity of Self-Awareness and trust work that was available to them. Inevitably, these same folks are the ones others see still struggling with consistent results, healthy conflict, and retaining top talent.


You know I love to help (Enneagram 2) and we have added a few things at Shandel Group to address these issues:

  • As we announced in our previous newsletter, we have created a one-minute weekly email to help clients go deep into the Trimetrix EQ assessment starting with a full year of DISC and MOTIVATOR training. We call it 66 Seconds with Shandel Group. Just add yourself to the list.

  • We never stop growing our depth of knowledge to curate the best tools out there. In 2020, we added a robust Enneagram assessment that has literally changed lives. Last month, we got certified in WORKING GENIUS, Patrick Lencioni’s new powerhouse PRODUCTIVITY assessment.

WOW! This one is a must for all teams and it is super quick, super cheap, and super fast to implement. It discovers how people can find joy and fulfillment at work. The report boasts measuring 80% productivity and 20% personality. We are using it for teams to increase their meeting effectiveness, organizational trust, and countless other areas including conflict resolution, onboarding, and even home communication. It only costs $25 and with our certification, we can create team maps and offer a small discount. Schedule a 2-hour debrief of your team’s working genius today! SO FUN!

  • We train your trainers, managers, HR team, and employees that want to grow their leadership skills by certifying them in the Science of Self. We have a new session beginning September 22nd with 3 spots left. Get serious about your commitment to the culture of connection and get yourself and your key people certified in DISC, DRIVING FORCES, and EQ.
  • We help you hire the kind of people who want to connect, grow and be a part of your unique culture. We take the bias and emotional drain out of hiring/retaining key talent. We use a proven job benchmarking process to make sure the job and talent are a strategic match to your organization.


What can you do today to increase your connections? As you engage in this journey, be all in, please don't attempt “trying” to connect aka fake connection. Don't go through the motions without having a heart and mindset for change. It won't go well for you in the end. Get your own heart in order and then be about the business of building deep connections from now on!

“People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.” - Lewis Cass

Now Apply it:

  1. What 3 people need you to deepen a real connection with them?
  2. What is one action step you are willing to do right now?
  3.  If not now, when?

Thank you for connecting with me as your coach,

Be the Best You Can Be Today!

Fun updates from the Shandel Group Family.

The Sutherlands have successfully moved to Reno. We still are enjoying a weekend here and there in Redding as we figure out when we should start an executive team retreat center. If you are interested in coming to the Sacramento River to have your Quarterly Offsite or annual planning session, we would love to host you and help your team get to its next level.

Our non-profit has been instrumental in helping the DIXIE FIRE refugees in my hometown of Quincy, CA. Nearly 1 million acres burned and hundreds displaced. If you would like to donate to the cause, here is the link.

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