Gifts, Blessings and Gratitude

Charlee-_2-150x150As we come to the end of the year and look forward to 2014, we asked Charlee Hanna, blogger, website manager, organization guru and white-water rafter, to write a guest blog for you following our theme for this month  — gifts and celebrations. We hope you find it as meaningful as we did… 

I have had a very blessed life with many different experiences. I have had the privilege of living the extremes of life and very rarely in the middle.  Because of the range of experience I have also had the privilege of knowing a great variety of people.  Some have hard-calloused hands and dirt under their fingernails while others have literally saved the world and brought world peace. Some have very few possessions and others are rich and famous. Most of them try hard to give more than they take.

Greg is a close friend of mine.  I do not see him much but I think of his story often.  He grew up in the 50’s, with a father that was always out of work and a mother who connived constantly in order to keep the family going.  There were other hardships in his childhood and he developed a debilitating stutter.  The family moved often and his life was very unstable, unstructured, and with few rewards.  His late teens and twenties often included a state penal system address.  Not a great beginning.  There was a marriage, some children, a variety of unskilled jobs, and a divorce. Life was a struggle. Read more

‘Tis the season: Top 100 Learning Tools for 2013

The results are in — learning professionals around the globe have voted!

The report on the 100 most valued learning tools in 2013 has been published at the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies.  Jane Hart, the C4LPT founder and leader, built the list from selections identified by more than 500 learning professionals from 48 countries. (Keep reading because this report assists personal learners as much as “learning professionals”.)


The report surprised me because some technologies seemed to fall well outside a learning context. Their inclusion and rankings made me reconsider the many tools I use to aid my online learning and that of others for personal or professional growth. Then I realized two things. These tools are part of my tacit knowledge + skill foundation.  Second, they are vital to my communicating, collaborating, or producing something of value that others may hear, read, or respond to.  These knowledge-building tools are like the ancient Phillips screwdriver or Read more

Top 40 Websites By, For and About Women in the Workplace and Beyond

Women in the WorkplaceA few months ago, I ran across an internet article entitled Top 50 Leadership Blogs. Dr. John Warner, the author, included a valuable list of bloggers whose focus is improving leadership and management. I found the list, in order of Alexa ranking in 2012, to be a useful resource.

When I reread it a few days later, I was intrigued. The list started with Seth, Michael, Wayne, Dan and Daniel, John, Mike and Bob. By now, you probably get the picture. I realized that the most influential bloggers on this topic seem to be men. Upon closer inspection, I found that only 12 of the 50 bloggers were women—less than 25%.  Read more

3 Leadership “Truths” Women Should Ignore

This week, we asked Dana Theus, whose work we admire very much, to share an article with Women’s Learning Studio. We hope you find it as valuable as we did. 

3 Leadership Truths Women Should IgnoreLeadership advice runs rampant on the internet, which is fine because most of it comes from a place of wisdom and reflection.

If you’re a woman aspiring to lead, however, there is one tiny problem with this spew of “how to” and “Top 10” lists. Since our dominant leadership culture is male, the majority of the advice is largely designed to make men better leaders. In most cases, the advice is fine for women, too, but watch out because some of it can be disastrous to your career.

Specifically, ladies, keep an eye out for the leadership lessons trying to help men overcompensate for some testosterone-induced bad habits. These bad boss habits include lack of empathy, rigidity and egotism. On average, this is not your problem! Read more

Props for People and Learning Bubbles

This week I’ll enjoy Thanksgiving with my husband and family.  Our custom before the big meal—with glass in hand—is for each of us to give thanks for someone or something in our lives.  I would like to import that tradition into this post by honoring the people in my learning bubbles for inspiring, informing, and guiding me to learn and do this year.

You might be asking what learning bubbles are. 

Learning bubbles are the people and forums we select or create to explore and work on issues that matter to us.  Read more




I appreciate the spirit of this time of year – looking back and giving thanks for what we have and what is important to us. Reflection is always a major part of the learning process. And, at our table on the Thanksgiving holiday, we give thanks out loud, each of us around the table names as many people, events, even things we are thankful for. It doesn’t matter that we are of different religions, nationalities, personalities, sexual orientations, political parties. We unite in appreciating our lives, each other, the food, and our blessings. Read more

Lean In, Lean Out or Lie Down

My husband and I returned from a trip to San Diego Monday evening to find a large package beside our front door. It was from a friend who visited us recently and said the setting at our “family compound” required a hammock.  As we talked about the hammock, I envisioned hours spent under the shade of an enormous oak tree with beverage in one hand and frivolous novel in the other enjoying the warm Florida breezes.

The setting is Sarasota, Florida. My husband, son, his wife, her parents and two young grandchildren moved from three houses in the area into our two-acre compound last fall. We have enjoyed time around our new fire pit, afternoons on our dock, impromptu dinners, a Christmas Eve remote boat parade and all the other times in between. I consider myself one of the luckiest people alive.

At the same time, however, my husband and I are fully renovating the house we chose to inhabit. That includes hiring workers to rip out kitchen walls, flooring and cabinets, re-roof, create a new entrance and remodel two bathrooms. In addition, I am starting our new business venture with friends Doris and Lisa. I am sharing childcare and transportation responsibilities with the other grandmother, and I am checking on my mother, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, in an assisted living facility on the other side of our pond. Read more

My Learning Dashboard: A Plan and New Habits Needed

I am a serendipitous learner, one who often rejects questions at the start of events that ask me to identify my learning goals. I prefer the Open Space Law of Two Feet to open myself to possibilities.  I like being surprised by what I learn and when I learn and with whom.  This outlook has led to magical interactions and new knowledge for me.  On the other hand, following any current of curiosity could mean no self-accountability.  I could miss deeper learning because I waited too long to commit to a learning focus.  All of the above has happened to me.

A learning event is one thing to negotiate without a personal plan but learning online is 20 times more demanding and slippery.  My aerie-faerie-reverie approach to learning became counter-productive and even destructive online.  Why?  Because there was always something new to distract me, I could seldom finish anything. Read more

What is the Future of Learning?

This article first appeared on my Leadership Options website.  Because of its relevance to the Studio, I am posting it here as well. 

Last Tuesday marked the first public showing of our new website, My two partners and I are developing an online community focused on learning and leadership. The experience was both exhilarating and frightening.

We invited nearly 30 women to an online E-vent to visit and beta test the site and give us their thoughts and ideas. It seemed to go very well, but after more than a year of planning, I realize that we are ready to move to the next level. We now become the service-providers and marketers for this new endeavor, and that is the challenge.

Read more

Welcome to Women’s Learning Studio

Welcome to our first Women’s Learning Studio blog. We’ll be posting often, so please register so you don’t miss anything, and come back often to see what’s up. Lyn Boyer, Lisa Levinson and Doris Reeves-Lipscomb (the founding mothers!) will post thoughts here, but we will have guest bloggers, special “editions” and hot-off-the-press news and updates too. 

Women's Learning Studio, WelcomeWe provide individual and small group skill-building experiences, coaching, consulting and meaningful connections. We offer you opportunities to achieve your dreams…from personalized learning plans to digital portfolios to online tools and apps. However, our new website offers you much more than that. We want Women’s Learning Studio to be your virtual spa – a place where you can rejuvenate, learn, connect, relax and have fun with like-minded women. Our goal is to create a welcoming and stimulating online community where you can Reset, Retool, Recharge and Rebrand. Explore these terms and learn more about the path your Women’s Learning Studio journey can take.

Start your journey: Go to our Women’s Learning Studio Lobby . Add your story to our Story Booth.  Take one of our revealing self-discovery Surveys. Learn how to receive Women’s Learning Studio badges. Explore and add to our crowd-sourced Directory of online learning opportunities. Check out our About You and About Us pages. Leave comments, ask questions, make suggestions and join or start conversations in the  Salon or in any comments box. Tell us how you would like to work with us. 

Even better – join our Virtual Scavenger Hunt for a glimpse into all you can find at Women’s Learning Studio and get a $25 certificate toward any paid Women’s Learning Studio E-vent or Coaching conversation.

We are actively looking for your feedback on the structure and substance of this site. If you are willing to be a beta tester and donate about one hour of your time to test out some of the site functions, please let us know in the comment section below and we’ll contact you with more details.  

Please make yourself at home here. Register to become a Women’s Learning Studio pioneer member and become part of this journey to create the future of online learning and collaboration for women!