How Do I Help Others Be Their Best?

How Do I Help Others Be Their Best?

“You feel alive to the degree you feel you can help others."
-John Travolta

Our days are filled with mechanical devices that ‘speak’ to us. The refrigerator will let us know when it needs a new water filter. The car will tell us it’s time for an oil change.  The printer will demand new ink. The computer will walk us through the installation of new programs.

Our devices give us crisp, clear, and correct bits of information that not only keeps things running smoothly and efficiently, but also keeps things working at its best. Wouldn’t it be nice if the people we interact with everyday provided us with the same level of information?

Effective communication is an essential part of bringing out the best in others.

Discovery Questions

Any time spent thinking about and discussing ways to improve interaction between two people is time well invested. Discovery questions, however, can be powerful tools to gain insight and understanding into the specific needs of others in order to bring out their best.

Here are a few brief examples:

Work Preferences 

  • What are your preferred approaches to how you do your work?
  • Is there anything you wish others would start doing to help you perform your work?

Communication Preferences

  • How do you prefer others to talk to you?
  • What style of communication from others makes you uncomfortable?
  • What style of communication from others brings out your best?

Biggest Mistakes

  • What kind of interactions (verbal or nonverbal) make you uncomfortable?
  • What is your preferred work style?
  • What kind of work situations do you find stressful?


  • What actions, events, or rewards incentivize you?
  • What actions, events, or rewards disincentivize you?
  • What incentives you to go to work each day?


  • What makes you feel good about yourself and what you do?
  • What propels you towards your goals?

It is only when you truly understand the needs and drivers of others that you can begin to help bring out their best. Communication is the key to that understanding.

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