The other day while I was working with one of my clients, something was telling me I should ask him how everything was - life, living, vacation planning - all the non-work-related things. He shared something that was going on in his personal life that was weighing on him greatly. After he shared what was happening, he ended it by saying "Don't worry about me".
My answer was "I'm not going to worry about you. Worrying won't help you. What will change if I worried? No. I am here to support you through this."
There are people in our lives who will worry about us, give us unsolicited advice and, although they mean well, give advice which stems from emotion, not necessarily common sense. People in our lives want us to feel better so might tell us what they think we want to hear. Instead, how about just listening and asking the non-judgmental questions that will help give them clarity? And how about trusting that they know what is right for them? Even if they don't, they'll know you're there to support them throughout.
Coaches (or as Ruth Ann Harnisch says, GREAT coaches) understand that it's OK to let clients live in the questions. We're not there to give them answers. We're there to help them think differently, clarify, and simplify.
GREAT leaders understand they can lead from a sense of humanness without being pushovers. They don't hand you anything on a silver platter; they support you to grow into your level of excellence. They understand that everyone has different talents and strengths and different ways of doing things and create an environment within which you find out just what that is.