What Is Your Intent?
I think we should invent an Intent-O-Meter. We would make a fortune. It would be a device that you could attach to your phone so that when you are talking with someone you would immediately understand the caller's intention and objectives. It would work with email too by scanning an incoming message and providing you with a score of how sincere and honest the sender's intent is (this would sure save you from sending your bank account numbers to a "widowed foreign diplomat who is willing to split $1,509,244 with you for your kind help"). The Intent-O-Meter would also work in meetings and face to face interactions with other people - especially helpful when working with salespeople!
The truth of the matter is that all people have a built in Intent-O-Meter that they use to gauge other people's aim. That is an important concept to understand. When you approach someone they immediately are monitoring you to determine if you have their best interest in mind. They want to understand what your motives are and whether you are trying to help them or trick them.
Before you email, call or meet with someone - consider what your intentions are. Are they good? Are they honest? Do you really care about the other person? Are you wanting to create a win-win solution or are you thinking win-lose? Unless you are really good with deception, most people can see through to your intent. So, make sure that you intent is good. Sincerity and honest intent are key attitudes in working with others. Are you doing something "to someone" or "with someone"? It is all about intent.