22 November 2023 |

a gratitude practice

By Gabrielle "GB" Blackwell

A core memory of mine as a kid was heading to Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents and preparing my response to the question I knew everyone was going to ask – what are you grateful for?

It’s been a question I’ve meditated on often this year and I’ve been feeling super blessed to have a long list of things to be grateful for.

Whether it’s having a job in a time of economic uncertainty, having safety while war rages on in other parts of the world, or having friends and family who cheer me on and support me…there are so many things I’m grateful for.

I’m also grateful for the things that have helped me experience a deeper sense of gratitude as a manager. So today, I’m sharing some key practices that have helped big time in experiencing more gratitude at work!

Practice #1: Saying ‘No’

One of the easiest ways to get burnt out is saying ‘yes’ to too many things.

Yes, I’ll help you with that email.

Yes, I’ll get that new sequence out.

Yes, I’ll run that report.

Yes, I can stay on after the meeting ends.

As a manager, you can often stretch yourself so so thin because you are either afraid to say ‘no’ or don’t realize you have the power to say ‘no’. 

When you start saying ‘no’ to things distracting you from making progress, you’ll feel more energized, more empowered and also, you’ll demonstrate a positive model to your people.

Further reading: The Power of a Positive No by William Ury.

Practice #2: Taking time off

When I first got into sales, I was so scared to take time off. 

I felt like I didn’t have the time and that I hadn’t earned the right to take time off. That mindset carried into the first year of my management experience and boy oh boy, did I burn out in a glorious flame.

It took me some time to see taking time for myself as an important leadership characteristic. I mean, even God took a day of rest…why shouldn’t managers have their rest days too?

If you’re unsure of where to start when approaching days off, might I recommend one week off per quarter and 1-2 mental health days per month.

I’ve found this to create a nice flow to the quarter. It also acts as a great model for your reps. If they see their manager able to unplug and refuel, reps may be more likely to adopt more sustainable work habits.

Further reading: How You Can Turn 15 Vacation Days into 52 in 2024

Practice #3: Asking for help

I used to be one of these people who would never ask for help. I always thought I had to be the person who knew all the answers, had everything together, and people would ask me for help…not the other way around.

Then, I had a conversation with my grandfather where he offered up this sage advice: “Gab, things really changed for me as a leader when I realized I had ten hands instead of two. Ask your team to help you.”

It can be odd to ask your team for help (or maybe that’s just me), but I’ve found that when I come to my team in sincere request, they’ve shown up big time. 

Whether it’s been pushing on activities, supporting their teammates, getting new messages rolled out, or collecting feedback on a new process, I’ve found that more often than not, my team actually wants to help out wherever they can.

Question for you: What’s one thing your team can help you with next week? I’d love to hear back from you on this 😁

Wrapping up

Hopefully at least one of the practices I’ve shared has inspired you to reflect on things you can do for yourself to experience a greater sense of gratitude while managing people.

But, maybe you have some other practices that are super helpful? If so, what’s worked best for you?

Visual of the Week

This made me laugh out loud since I’m a Scorpio Sun, Aquarius Moon and an Aries Rising. Yes, I’m very woo woo.

It’s funny to see how my at times out-of-the-box ways can all be chalked up to the stars and planets 😂.