Sustaining Resilience in 3 Dimensions

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The title of this exciting new column doubles as the secret to living a fulfilled life. Sustaining Resilience are two powerful words that carry a healthy amount of meaning, possibility and hope. This is especially consequential in our post-Covid, transitional time of uncertainty, exhaustion, frustration, overwhelm, fear and anger.

In taking a closer look at the meaning of Resilience, Linda Graham’s definition speaks volumes:

Resilience is the ability to face and handle life’s challenges, whether everyday disappointments or extraordinary disasters.” 

We could all use a dose of this potion to help us navigate the hiccups and hurricanes of life. Especially us Tomatoes! As Bette Davis whimsically reminded us, “Getting old ain’t for sissies”. But here’s the thing. There is no “resilience pill”. Nor can we flip a switch and activate resilience. We must develop awareness, practices and habits in order to employ and sustain our resilience so it will sustain us.

And that is exactly what this new column will provide for all Tomatoes. Awareness, practices and habits in relation to leadership, communication and health & well-being will help you build your sustaining resilience– it’s all in here.

For context, we (Ute and Deborah) are a writing duo connected through a protocol called Conversational Intelligence. Judith E. Glaser, the late founder of C-IQ, provided for our coaching community a foundation of powerful practices. We benefit as a partnership partly due to this understanding of the common language of creating ways of working together. And while we live on different continents, we do have in common that we are entrepreneurs dedicated to supporting individuals, teams and organizations in establishing and accomplishing their definitions of success.

We bring a wide perspective to the table thanks to our different points of view. Deborah, a former restaurant owner, is child-free by choice, living 52 miles north of NYC. Ute, in Germany, is part of the sandwich generation, with two grown daughters and an 84-year-old mother, living with the help of care-givers, semi-independently. There are many lessons we are learning, daily, that we can reframe from struggles to opportunities.

As we are test-driving our “next normal”, now that all of us are officially “out of the pandemic”, we have noticed many areas of life that look different. At the same time, some things have reverted back to their pre-pandemic incarnations.

It seems that folks today have the impulse to make up for lost time. Whereas the world had slowed down starting in 2020, people are now picking up speed, finding themselves busy again. (Although you’ll learn through this column that Deborah considers the word “busy” to be a four-letter curse word.)

Where do you stand on the practices & habits spectrum? To find out, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you picked up where you left off with traveling, socializing (with friends, family and at networking events), and generally cramming too much into a day?
  • Have societal pressures seemingly dragged you back into participating in prior habits that didn’t necessarily serve you in the first place?

If you’re nodding your head in the affirmative, now may be your ideal opportunity to discern which habits should be maintained, which should be trimmed and which should be binned. We’ve identified three areas that we’ll be exploring, deconstructing and offering baby steps for, in order to support you in sustaining your resilience.

Here are a few general observations and the situations wherein we see opportunities to make this “next normal” more healthy, productive and enjoyable than what we were working with before pandemic times.

It’s a Whole New Workplace: Leaders of both NFPs and for-profit organizations continue struggling to do more with less. Seems like some things never change. We are working with clients now navigating this disruptive juncture in time: negotiating nuanced decisions, transitions and implications of in-office work, as well as hybrid work and remote workforces. This is especially true with the latter. These workplace settings are not yet fully established, and are still being negotiated. Employers and entrepreneurs as well as employees are experimenting with what works best for them and their clients, but have yet to discover the golden approach.

Communication Considerations: FaceTime, MS Teams, Zoom, What’s App and Instagram are just a few familiars among the endless list of channels to choose from. This means there’s a potential plethora to monitor and to feed. Virtual tools for personal and workplace implementation have exploded since 2020. And with more choices comes more confusion, unless intentional and dedicated choices are made regarding with whom to use which channel(s).

Health and Well-Being is like Fastening Your Oxygen Mask First: During the pandemic, some of us built in time for exercise and maintaining our self-care. For both of us, our daily walks, placing us out in nature and away from our desks, allowed us to maintain our sanity and sense of freedom. As work ramps up, many have not been intentional about maintaining these times for health and fresh air on our calendars. As a matter of fact, self-care is usually the first thing to be sacrificed when career opportunities, options and priorities continue to grow and expand. The consequence is that we know intellectually we’re missing out on activities that are healthy and enhance our resilience. And yet, we don’t take action, tending to push our limits too far. But as with oxygen masks on a plane, once we commit to taking care of ourselves, we can more effectively take care of others and the aspects of our lives we deem most important.

If you feel helpless and frustrated because you lack the agency to take more control of your own day and destiny, fear not. We’ll be exploring this in our future articles. This series will offer ideas and hands-on practices you can experiment with as we all re-organize our personal and professional lives, post-pandemic. Stay with us and prepare to sustain your resilience!


Deborah Goldstein is the founder of the Driven Professionals, a community driven to support the health, well-being & success potential of NYC professionals. Deborah is also the founder of Goldie’s Table Matters, providing education and entertainment to both corporate and private clients nationwide.

Ute Franzen-Waschke

Ute Franzen-Waschke is passionate about developing people for the international workplace. Throughout her career, she has worked with her clients on co-creating environments that allow individuals, teams, and businesses to thrive, be the focus on communication, relationship, or corporate cultures. Ute is doing research on how Coaching can support wellbeing and engagement in contemporary corporate work environments. She is the author of the book “How to create a successful remote work culture”, Co-author of the book “Changing Conversations for a Changing World Vol 1 & 2”.

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