My question

What interpersonal skills are important to develop to be successful in Business?

Was closed due to being too broad.

A helpful user commented that putting "interpersonal skills" is not enough to be a good question.

That's akin to "What are useful skills for programming games?" No, it does not narrow things enough. Think of a specific situation, and ask about the specific situation.

It's going to be important to decide early how broad is too broad and how narrow is too narrow. This is likely going to happen early, so I'd prefer a discussion rather than a verdict.

On one hand, you have questions which are so broad, you could write books about them. I dub "encyclopedia questions". Because they're so broad, the answers given will be highly divergent, and there is no "best answer".

On the other hand, you have questions which contain a personal narrative, and thus cannot be backed up with fact, I dub "Dear abby questions". Because these questions are personal, the answers will be suited to the question at hand, and will likely not apply to many situations because another person may see and think "well, my situation is a little different, better ask again".

Examples of encyclopedia questions:

Examples of dear Abby questions:

  • I'm open to suggestions for the examples.
    – user20
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 18:38
  • List questions are nearly always off topic across the network, as are opinion-centric "best" questions, so I'm not sure why either of your encyclopedia questions would be acceptable.
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 18:52
  • @Catija PPCG and EE.SE are both happy with list questions. They also hit a large audience, which isn't a bad thing at all
    – user20
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 18:52
  • I don't recall PPCG being okay with list questions...
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 19:06
  • 1
    @Zizouz212 you must not recall the python question with 100+ answers, or the showcase with 200+ answers
    – user20
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 19:08
  • Yes, but those are exceptions to the rule, where it is completely relevant to the site. Those aren't typical questions on that site, so I can't accept your examples at all.
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 19:09
  • @Zizouz212 "it's not okay, except when it is". seems like a way to generalize all rules to me.
    – user20
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 19:10
  • I agree with the question but I don't think the examples are good examples.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 19:11
  • @gerrit what changes would you make?
    – user20
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 19:11

2 Answers 2


Since questions should include a narrative on someone's personal experience, I can see that most (or perhaps all) of the questions will have a "Dear Abby" aspect to them.

Your point is well taken in that if the question can be summarized as the title of a possible book, it's too broad. And where is the demarcation line anyway?

Perhaps a rule of thumb to start off with would be this:

If I can be helpful in terms of advice for a specific situation, and be able to do so in the course of several paragraphs, then it's worth posting. If I am able to cite an academic source to support this, then so much the better.


What mix we want doesn't really matter. People will come here for what they come here for. We don't have a way to meter it to make sure we get any specific mix anyway. Just set the rules for what is acceptable here and what isn't. But a site with quality questions will draw more people than a site full of a bunch of garbage. A reasonable scope needs to be set and enforced or all that will remain are a few users who will bicker amongst themselves about what ever they feel like bickering about.

If you disbelieve that go look at politics.

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