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Inspired by the responses to this question

I've seen a pattern of responses to the questions being more focused on the situation rather than the IPS required to solve the problem. In other stacks, the questions can be more about the what to do, but here, as in SO, we need to be more focused on the HOW

In the question above, the OP mentioned difficulties with a coworker's underconfidence and some of the responses focused on telling the OP all about under confidence and that he needs to talk to his coworker. That would be the equivalent of someone coming to SO, going into detail about a technical issue and being told he has to recode it.

I think we can solidify this stack a bit more if we emphasize the "Back it up" rule as "demonstrate how this helps with interpersonal skills" and/or outline which IPS are being demonstrated by the advice.

I think that an approach like this will tighten the focus on IPS and help us avoid falling into the trap of questions seeking:

  • Personal advice instead of IPS advice
  • "Validation" questions, where a querent is looking for answers that say "you're right!"
  • Relationship advice focusing on the relationship instead of IPS within
  • a forum to vent family drama

OR, answers dealing in:

  • Validation
  • Discussing the motives/character of the querent
  • Editorializing

I think we should do this, and perhaps add something to the "how to answer questions" to illustrate this.

Agree? disagree? Advice on how we should, or if we should try to implement and enforce this?

related: Let's close questions asking how to word/phrase something

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  • What do you mean by relationship advice? Why would we make a question like "How do I communicate to my spouse that they're too bossy?" off topic - what makes this less topical than "How do I communicate to my coworker that they're too bossy?" – Catija ModStaff Dec 6 '17 at 15:21
  • @Catija I clearly stated that the HOW is EXACTLY what we should focus on. I don't understand your comment. – user4548 Dec 6 '17 at 15:28
  • @Catija taking your example as to what might be in the answers that SHOULD be down-voted or even removed would be "you need to discuss this with a marriage counselor" or "bring her flowers and go on a romantic date" would be OT, and for the coworker "You need to go to HR" or "He is absolutely wrong it trying to tell you what to do" would be OT. – user4548 Dec 6 '17 at 15:31
  • You said, clearly, that "relationship advice" is off topic. I'm asking you to define what that means. I personally classify my example question as "relationship advice" so I'm saying you need to define your terms or risk misunderstandings. – Catija ModStaff Dec 6 '17 at 15:33
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    @Catija I think he's getting at the "we can tell you how to do, but we shouldn't tell you what to do" in relationships. "How do I do X?" is a reasonable question, "what should I do?" is less reasonable. – apaul Dec 6 '17 at 15:57
  • @Snark Is that what you're talking about? – apaul Dec 6 '17 at 15:58
  • @apaul exactly, the HOW not the WHAT I thought that was clear – user4548 Dec 6 '17 at 16:08
  • @apaul That doesn't make sense. Whether it's relationship advice - which I'm still not sure what that means to The Snark Knight - or anything else, asking "what should I do?" would be impossible for us to answer - so a list of which subjects it's not OK for is confusing to me. Asking "What should I do about my bossy boyfriend" is just as off topic as "what should I do about my bossy coworker"... there's no reason to call out "relationship advice" and not "workplace interpersonal skills advice". – Catija ModStaff Dec 6 '17 at 16:12
  • @Catija that comes DIRECTLY from Shog's admonition, BTW, but I did edit to clarify – user4548 Dec 6 '17 at 16:14
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    @Catija I think "relationship advice" was used as an example of where we often see "what should I do?" type questions pop up most often. It's not that relationship questions are different from work questions. – apaul Dec 6 '17 at 16:16
  • @apaul exactly... again. :D – user4548 Dec 6 '17 at 16:29

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