We've had a few meta posts asking about how we treat questions and the users who ask them here, and those are good and valuable. But I feel that we might have an imbalance with our concern for those versus our concern for answers and the users that post them.
I have in mind this question, though it applies to many. The posted answers (including my own, for full disclosure) generally indicate that they don't feel the asker's goal is achievable, through interpersonal skills or any other avenue. One of those answers attracted a comment from a user suggesting that it did not properly answer the question as a result (though other issues with the answer were noted, and I'm not intending to address them or the answer here).
I understand that we want to attract users to ask questions, but we also need users to answer questions. I think that a variety of decisions we've made have led to a situation in which questions are granted a lot of lenience, even to the point that they may not be answerable according to site guidelines, but answers are more strictly policed. And there seems to be a lot of inconsistency with the policing.
One effect of all this, as I perceive it, is that we have some users posting answers (including highly active and well-regarded members elsewhere on the SE network) and then being hectored over violations large and small, ultimately driving them away from the site.
Sometimes the critiques are obviously (to me) valid and meaningful, but at other times they seem nitpicky and purposeless. Worse, a lot of these comments seem to come from the review queue which doesn't flag content very well, leading to a very lopsided application of which answers draw critiques for a given question.
We have several policies in place, and that are enforced, regarding assumptions that we must make regarding questions and their askers, but we don't seem to have similar assumptions of honesty, good intent, and respectful engagement for answerers. I've seen several examples where answers drew complaints specifically over more formless issues like "tone", and comments do a poor job of suggesting improvements (both in pointing out issues, and in doing so tactfully).
The usual approach on SE seems to be that if you don't like an answer, downvote it. If you think an answer can be improved, leave a (hopefully gracious) comment explaining how. And if an answer is seriously beyond the pale, flag it for a moderator to look at. I see little of the first, to the point that deletion seems preferred over community votes. Comments happen often, but inconsistently, and are all over the map in terms of being useful and succinct (though they seem like honest efforts, most of the time), but I also see lots of comments that seem only to point to the site guidelines and not really engage with the user. The third is invisible to me.
As I've mentioned elsewhere, IPS is not the most well-thought-of site on SE, and I really think that this is a major reason why.