Here’s an interesting statistic from the Norman Vincent Peale Helpline. The Helpline is set up to help people in crisis who have nobody close to talk to. So, how many incoming calls are crisis?
The majority of callers are frequent callers who call nearly every day. These callers have chronic pain and have worn out their welcome with family and friends. So, they call the Helpline in hope of being heard. Think about this for awhile. As leaders you too have very few crisis calls, most of your frequent meetings are dealing with chronic people who come to you in search of a solution. Here is the training recipe from Norman Vincent Peale’s hotline, it might be helpful to you. When teammates come to you for answers, greet them with some curious questions. Ask them what they think, as a default. Get them engaged, initially, by empathizing with them and labeling their pain/problem. Continue to help them through curious and challenging questions. Do not give them answers or get frustrated and give ‘em my favorite “buck up” speech.
Your job is to make your teammates solve more and more of their own problems. Your job is make them so strong they no longer call on you for chronic pain relief. Once you get teammates thinking and solving problems on their own, they will call with what you’ve wanted all along – ideas.