It’s very easy to see when there is trust in a culture/community/unit – people start with questions.
The opposite is true as well. When there is no trust – people start with solutions.
The reason that questions signify trust is that asking questions brings both parties into the topic without the need for defense. These questions often start with why did we assume, or why didn’t we assume.
Solutions assume that there is some clear and present gap in the current status that requires immediate correction. They also don’t allow the questionee to share the framework they’ve built with the questioner.
Usually though, those that start with solutions also come in with unaligned assumptions. And that’s where the true breakdown is. Because when assumptions, objectives, and agendas aren’t aligned and the conversation centers around how to fill specific gaps and holes, you don’t build trust, you debate execution.
So I say lets get better at starting with questions.