Site icon Leadership Freak

2 Ways to Be Water for the Thirsty

Tired people stagger through the desert looking for a drop of relief. Provide water.

Things that make people dry include navigating work relationships, meeting deadlines, delivering more with less, using resources efficiently, serving customers, pleasing higher ups, overseeing direct reports, having one-on-ones, keeping up with email, choosing priorities, training new people, doing performance evaluations, monitoring the numbers, and running meetings.

2 Ways to Be Water for the Thirsty

#1. Ask about pressure.

Instead of telling people you understand, ask them to talk about the pressures they feel.

  1. What’s your stress level on a scale of 1:10? One being you’re bored out of your mind and ten being your head is ready to explode.
  2. What is an acceptable level of stress on a scale of 1:10?
  3. What could you do today to move toward an acceptable level of stress?

Don’t assume you know how to solve everyone’s stress. Continue the conversation by asking…

  1. What are the most stressful parts of your job?
  2. What are you doing to manage those aspects of work?
  3. What else might help you manage the most stressful parts of your job?
  4. How can I help?

#2. Protect people from future snares.

An ancient proverb from the Hebrew Bible says, “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn from the snares of death.”

Experience anticipates snares. You see future challenges. Lift people above the dust of daily work and enable them to prepare for unanticipated challenges, ‘snares of death’.

Begin a conversation by saying, “Let’s prepare for some future challenges you’re going to face.” Preparing for future challenges gives meaning to daily difficulties. Think of athletes training for future events.

Use your experience to give people water before they die of thirst.

How can leaders be water for the thirsty?

Still curious:

The #1 Self-Defeating Behavior That Brings Leaders Down

Grow and Give: Discovering the Path Forward

“Truly great book. A concise account of honesty, humility, and congruence. These are the best gifts this book offers to readers!” Reader’s comment after finishing our new book, The Vagrant: The Inner Journey of Leadership.

Order The Vagrant:


Barnes & Noble



Exit mobile version