How men can help women solve problems, and how women can help men help women solve problems
Play the Venus/Mars game. When someone speaks to you about a problem, ask them "do you want me to listen empathetically (Venus) or help you solve the problem (Mars)?" This gives people what they ask for and teaches them to ask for what they want.
LADIES: learn to accept that men often ask problem-solving questions to get to the same mental state as the person sharing the problem. Asking the "Why don't..." and "How about..." questions are how men understand your situation and why you feel the way you feel about it. Men who don't care don't listen at all. The fact that men ask you questions about your problem shows that they care enough to ask you questions. Answer the questions or tell them to save their questions until you're done explaining the situation. Many men are very good at saving their questions, but many women get annoyed with our questions instead of just telling us to save them until the woman is done speaking.
MEN: learn to accept that a woman's primary goal for sharing a problem with you is finding that someone else cares about them and identifies with their feelings about a problem. When women share their problems with us, we men like to respond by doing something about the problem, such as asking questions about the situation. However, keeping your %&^#ing mouth shut, listening until the woman is done, and waiting intil they're done venting to ask if they want advice all counts as doing something about the problem.