It’s an issue of motive. Are you able to act in my best interest or our combined best interest or are you driving self-serving agendas? Does this have the potential to be symbiotic or is it parasitic and dressed up?
The challenge with these questions is that most of the time we end up being dishonest by accident. Most people are good-willed and well-intentioned. We do not realise that our perspective is compromised, biased, primed or otherwise hijacked.
Most conflicts of interest are subtle behavioural nudges delivered by good intentioned ideas or relationships that undermine my objectivity.
The easiest way to overcome it is to change our question from “What’s in it for us?” to “How can we serve you?”