I've read here that POB means that it is a "what should I do" question.

My question is: How is any scenario on Interpersonal Skills not a "what is the best action to do [which adheres to whatever social norms apply]?" which can be turned into a "What should I do [in this scenario]?" type question.

Just skimming through the first page of questions, should we close 60% of the asked questions or rather opt for a different policy on POB?

  • 2
    I think a big difference is if the questions is "What should I do?" or "What should I do to archive this and that result?" I think the 2nd question is ok but the 1st one is POB.
    – user8838
    Apr 4 '18 at 11:14

The difference can seem subtle but is actually pretty important: you set a goal to achieve, when asking a question like,

how do I best communicate X,

but on the other hand, asking a question like

should I do X or Y or Z ,

lands up being a question which is so specific to the question asker that it is unlikely to be helpful to other / future members of the site, and is thus closed as POB.

  • 3
    Sorry, I still don't see it. The best way to "communicate X" is as specific to the question asker as "should I do X or Y" is general to the current social norms of the asker. Where am I going wrong? Apr 4 '18 at 12:15
  • 1
    @FirefoxMetzger "How to communicate X" says: "I want to do X. How do I go about that?" whereas "Should I do X or Y" says: "I haven't decided what to do. Please tell me which I should do, and how to do it." That is the difference. We aren't here to decide what to do, but how to do a desired action with interpersonal skills.
    – Jess K.
    Apr 4 '18 at 15:16
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    @JessK. I think i get it now. Do you mean "how do I reach goal X" or "does X help my achieve Y" versus "what are the consequences of doing X (vs doing Y)"? Apr 4 '18 at 15:44
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    @FirefoxMetzger I think that's an accurate assessment. We basically want answers to all be in concert with trying to achieve a common goal, rather than listing varying goals and solutions. Asking "what should I do?" generates lots of different results, whereas "how do I do X" is more focused on varying ways to still solve for X.
    – Jess K.
    Apr 4 '18 at 15:46

Route A: Asking "How do I communicate X":

  • OP decides what he wants to achieve
  • IPS answers different paths that try to led to the given goal
  • Goals are verifiable thus success is trackable

Route B: Asking "Here's situation A. How do I deal with it?":

  • IPS has to decide what's the best course of action is
  • IPS answers get blown out of proportion because they state different goals and also multiple ways to achieve them
  • Situation K is (likely) complex and specific, thus rarely applicable for anyone else visiting IPS

By going route A we can scope questions and answers. Without scope an answer could easily derail into "How to life your life". We do not choose what you want to accomplish. We can give advice how to get there.

  • So what does qualify an answer to be accepted as correct in Route A? Apr 13 '18 at 17:12

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