From this side of the table, lacking knowledge or insight into who they really are (in their heart) or what they’re really thinking or the balls they’re really balancing, it’s easy to worry that the (at maximum) half of the story you’re necessarily getting is designed for receipt – they’re playing you and your job is to work out how and play them back harder.
Or, you could take them at face value until proven otherwise. Dealing with them with a sense of equanimity (if not, for now, actual partnership), assuming that a question is just a question and a suggestion is just a suggestion that might bear fruit you can share.
You might get caught out, but less often than you think, and in aggregate you’ll build more and stronger relationships that will leave you better off and happier in the end.
Skippy strategy: Try to sit on the same side.
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