This is something I picked up from House of Cards.
In it’s first few seasons, Frank and Claire share a fantastic personal and professional relationship.
Whenever one person is in the middle of something, the other person only asks “How can I help you?”
Merely asking the question is one of the best ways to develop a relationship.
I did come across an article that said never ask “How can I help” because people tend to think that you have an underlying motive — that it’s not a genuine gesture.
Personally, I think it’s just a matter of clarifying your intentions. If you genuinely want to help someone, offer them help. Don’t otherwise.