Hi, I’m Michelle!

Thanks for visiting this site. I have a passion for making onboarding and talent development programs more effective and engaging. Once in awhile, I have a few things to say about it. My style is not lengthy and laden with big words. I write the way I talk. The way I facilitate. I like analogies and metaphors; I dislike pompous-sounding writers who make things more complicated than they need to be.

Basically, if you’re looking for a textbook….this probably isn’t the blog for you. If you’re looking for practical, creative, ideas (occasionally laced with goofy puns and smart-aleck humor), you’re in the right place.

The topics I write about most often include:

Onboarding new employees – Providing a solid foundation for new employees to begin their relationship with an organization is critical, not to mention a wise investment into the business. I like to explore various components of this process.  I “cut my teeth” doing a lot of new employee training early in my career; to this day, it remains an area I’m very passionate about.

Developing talent in interns, young professionals and emerging leaders – It’s crucial that we invest our time, energy and resources in an organization’s future. I love to dispel the myth that learning and developing leaders (of any level!) is stuffy, without meaning and relevance, and doesn’t drive tangible business results. To that myth, I say, “Challenge accepted.”

Facilitation Skills and General Training Topics – I’m a geek about this stuff, and I just like to talk about it.  A lot.

> Reviews & Publications:

Check out a review of this blog in the December 2013 issue of ATD’s national monthly publication, TD:


I’ve been able to author/co-author articles with TD Magazine. Here are links to a couple of them:

July 2014 | “Tech Tools for Training” 

January 2016 | “Thinking Inside the Box” (with Brian Washburn, the voice of the Train Like a Champion blog)

In May 2017, my first book, co-written with Lou Russell and Brittney Helt, was released:

Talent GPS cover image 2

Learn more about Talent GPS and order a copy here!

> Recognition

The phase(two)learning blog has also been recognized by industry-leading organizations, such as:

CMOE – Top 50 Most Socially-Shared Learning & Development Blogs

Clarity Consultants Top-20-Blogs-FINAL-v2

TrainerTops – Top 25 Inspirational Blogs for Trainers and Coaches

Additionally, I have had the privilege to lead programs that have been recognized with industry honors, including the Training Magazine Top 125, including an Outstanding Training Initiative in 2019:

Read more here: https://trainingmag.com/training-magazine-ranks-2019-training-top-125-organizations/

Finally, I have been honored to serve as a chapter leader with the Association for Talent Development – Central Indiana (ATD-CIC) since 2013. Starting in 2019, I have joined a volunteer team of former chapter presidents as a National Advisor to Chapters (NAC), with ATD at the national level, in addition to my local chapter involvement.

What is phase(two)learning?

phase(two)learning is a boutique talent development practice, specializing in onboarding program development. For nearly 20 years, I’ve had the privilege to develop and facilitate onsite and virtual training to thousands of professionals on six continents. I truly believe developing employees to build stronger cultures and drive business results is the BEST job in the world, and I don’t get enough of it at the day job….

Check out this short video about the creation and evolution of a Leadership Development framework:


> Consulting?

Consulting services with phase(two)l​earning actually began waaaaay back in 1999. Back then, however, there wasn’t a formal name, website, or social media presence!  For over a decade, I have provided strategic services and custom workshops for a number of clients in a variety of industries. Today, in addition to consulting engagements, customized workshops and writing projects, phase(two)learning also includes social media channels and public workshops. I’m a sought-after industry conference presenter, and every so often you’ll also find me guest blogging for sites like Careerealism and SuccessTV.

I deploy an annual State of Onboarding survey to my subscribers, followers and clients. The results of this survey are used to focus blog posts, workshops, conference sessions and other offerings around topics and trends that are most relevant to the phase(two)nation tribe of followers!

> Speaking engagements

It’s an honor (and a blast!) to present at a number of conferences and events each year. Just a few of the organizations I’ve partnered with include:

  • Association for Talent Development (ATD) – International Conference & Expo
  • Association for Talent Development (ATD) – TechKnowledge
  • ATD – Central Indiana Chapter
  • ATD – South Florida Chapter
  • ATD – Chapter Leadership Conference
  • ATD – Midwest Regional Conference
  • Indiana HR Conference (SHRM)
  • IndySHRM
  • IndySHRM North
  • Indiana Credit Union League
  • Farm Credit Services
  • Ball State University
  • Marian University
  • Paylocity
  • FirstPerson – RESOLVE HR conference
  • Rocky Mountain/Hawaii Coalition annual conference
  • Girls Incorporated
  • Skillsoft

Need a presenter or emcee for your event? Let’s talk!

> What about the other stuff?

I’m a proud mom, daughter, sister, aunt, fiancee, and friend.  My kids are 22 (daughter) and 17 (son) – my nest is a little emptier now that my daughter is almost finished with college and my son is driving, but they still keep me hopping…and I love every minute of it.  I’m a lifelong Hoosier and a Seinfeld fanatic (in fact, the name of this blog is a subtle homage to the show – so far, no one has figured that out on their own. Can you?). I love a good cup of coffee (best served over good conversation), a fantastic pair of shoes, Mr. Sketch markers on a flip chart, and traveling to new places.

In this line of work, I’ve become familiar with a variety of assessments. Here’s a snapshot of my styles:

My 5 strengths summarize it well:

Strategic: I sense patterns and issues, and create alternative routes to achieve the same goal.

Maximizer: I am a trendspotter who notices talent and strengths in others to help realize potential.

Futuristic: I am inspired by what lies just over the horizon and am fascinated by possibility.

Activator: I bring ideas and colorful new projects to life by turning thoughts into action.

Ideation: I am creative and seek opportunities to collaborate and build new connections.

> Let’s connect!

You can connect with me by subscribing to this blog (enter your email on the right side of the page), leaving a comment on a post, or via Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. If you’re addicted to Pinterest, you can even find me there. Of course, if you prefer, you can always catch me via email at phasetwolearning (at) gmail (dot) com.

Regardless of the method, I’d love to hear from you. Get in touch today!

13 thoughts on “About

  1. Amy Disney says:

    I have seen your posts about “phasetwolearning” on Facebook, but haven’t taken the time to check it out until tonight. It is awesome!! A ton of great advise, great info and of course great humor!! I can’t wait to read new posts!

    Thank you :)

  2. Lindsay H says:

    I discovered your blog while searching for a few “trainer tools” and I am beyond excited! I absolutely LOVE your sense of humor and the way that you write. I very much appreciate your passion, as I too have a HUGE passion for many of the very same things. Currently I am on a sub-committee within my L&D Organization that is focusing on Onboarding. I swear I feel like I hit the jackpot when I found your site.

    I’m looking forward to hearing more from you and possibly attending a workshop of your’s.

    Thank you for doing what you do!!!

    Merry Christmas….

    • Michelle says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Lindsay! The new website (launching in about a week, fingers crossed!) and content/logistics for the first public workshop has been keeping me from posting here much for a few weeks, but trust me…we are just getting warmed up! ;)

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