Note: I originally wrote this as an answer to a different question and then migrated it here because I believe this question is a better fit for what I wanted to talk about with this answer
We want askers and other readers to understand and incorporate certain ideas into their approach to and mental framing of an interpersonal scenario as pre-requisites to asking and answering questions. One that I feel could use more clear stating on our part and is (imo) the root of differentiating "bad" vs. "good" questions of this type is:
Respect the agency of other people
That is to say, people are entitled to hold their own choices, beliefs, views and opinions. There is no healthy interpersonal skill/tactic/trick that will always, with total success, change other people's opinions or actions. There are plenty of unhealthy tactics that aim to achieve these results such as manipulation and coercion. IPS does not condone, nor cover these unhealthy practices, furthermore, they don't really work.
Derived from this principle of respecting the agency of other people are some guidelines for framing and approaching an interpersonal scenario:
You cannot make/convince/force somebody to do X, you can only attempt to convince somebody to do X
You can only reliably change your own behavior
Accept that you may fail to change another's view
Helping askers fix their questions
The principle and related guidelines above are, I feel, a core differentiator between "bad" questions which today attract flags, close votes and long agonizing re-re-re-edit efforts and "good" questions, which we feel represent a healthy and responsible framing of an interpersonal goal/problem and are likely to attract good answers.
I think a challenge faced by attempts to moderate this sort of content in the past has been that the difference between a "good" and "bad" question of this type seems to be all about following a pedantic wording structure. If I am not thinking about the above principle, the difference between:
How do I make my co-worker stop eating the candy canes on my desk?
How can I better communicate to my co-worker that my candy canes are not for them?
seems arbitrary and pedantic. As a first time asker, being asked to align with a specific question structure without clearly understanding the implication of this change will be annoying and frustrating. From what I've seen on this site, they will also probably fail to restructure the question sufficiently leading to exasperation and despair in the community members trying to get the question to a good state.
For a question to align with the above principle and guidelines it should:
Focus on the interpersonal aspect "communicate"
Place the onus for action on the asker "how can I communicate"
Accept that success is not guaranteed when measured by others' reactions/responses "how can I better communicate"
My example is obviously contrived and the quoted text above is an example, not the example. Forcing people to follow a script is not a solution, nor is it going to improve questions.
There are other good meta resources on how to improve these questions below, however I feel that they do not clearly state the why of the change, which I believe to be the above principle:
Do we need to re-write "How can I get X to do Y" questions?
Are questions about 'how to convince another person to change their behavior?' on topic
What is the difference between a "convince" question and a good question?
IPS will continue to get questions like this.
Considering and respecting other people as complex individuals with their own rights, feelings and agency is not a universal practice
A common measurement of success in an interpersonal exchange is the post-interaction behavior of the other parties
A natural way for people to think about a situation is "I want to do X" so this creates he question "How do I make do X"
By making what seems like a slight wording change we can change questions to reflect a core principle of healthy IPS, reduce low quality "try this" answers and provoke good answers that don't have to all start off with "You don't..."
Proposed improvements and constructive criticism are welcome, I want to create a solid meta post that we can link question askers to which will help them improve their question and explain why these changes are improving their question.