I have posted a question about learning from my lead and mentor who is busy and not open up so much. The question is How can I learn from Senior team member who has fear of being replaced?. It receives good answers as well as good up votes. But it is still put on hold. Then I have edited the question and improved where ever I feel improvements required. After that it has been closed. If I review my question basically I have structured my post below

(1) I have clearly explain context and problem that I am facing
(2) I have given my experiences(Which are facts and not my opinions) with him
(3) Finally I have put specific and clear question to the community

I am not able to see anything wrong with my post and I need community help to improve my question further. Please find my questions below

(1) Close voters, Please explain why you have voted it to close and what your are expecting in order to improve this question.

(2) I am not putting any of my opinions in that post. But still it is closed as "Opinion based". Can some one explain me why?

  • 2
    Just a note - "opinion-based" doesn't mean that the question is based on opinion, but that it structured/worded in such a way that any answers to it will be based primarily on the opinion(s) of the answerer.
    – yoozer8
    Jul 22, 2013 at 19:44
  • @Jim: If that is the case can you explain how can I structured and reworded to make it not opinion based. Please help.
    – Babu
    Jul 22, 2013 at 19:55
  • Monica Cellio's answer is excellent. OP, you seem to be acting under the assumption that your team lead's job is to teach you, when i'm almost positive that's not the case. Their job is to get the project finished. Your job is to actually do what they need done. If there's something you don't know how to do, it's on YOU to go out and either learn for yourself or explicitly ask for help. I originally voted to close our question because you seem to be operating with the position of "i don't know things so my 'mentor' has to teach me". That line of thinking is wrong, imo.
    – acolyte
    Jul 30, 2013 at 13:33
  • @acolyte: I am not assuming and also not acting it is my mentor job to teach me. If you don't get that clarity read my post again clearly and suggest me what needs to change in order to make my post not to appear. Yes I agree it is on ME to learn the things and it is my problem that is why I am reaching this wonderful community. The entire post is about how to learn when he is not in a position to help me learning. If you don't understand this clearly read my post once again
    – Babu
    Jul 30, 2013 at 18:35

3 Answers 3


Just as a preface, I think it's fantastic you are looking for ways to improve your post BVR. I really do think that any user who wants to learn how to ask better questions deserves respect. If the below post comes across as harsh, it isn't intended as such, and I hope you won't take personal offense (as it isn't intended in the slightest).

This question comes across as a rant to me.

  1. It assumes the mentor is the problem
  2. It offers no information on what solutions have been tried
  3. The answers would tell you what to try instead of how to solve the problem because of 1. and 2.

It seems to follow in the same vein as questions like:

It seems to be approaching critical mass of, How do I deal with the fact that I'm awesome and everyone around me sucks?

Unfortunately, as-is, these sorts of questions are a very poor fit for The Workplace based on past history. Rather than asking an open-ended question that complains about a person and essentially asks, "How can I fix them?", you should ask a different question that promotes strategies on how to deal with an aspect of the situation.

For instance:

I think my mentor is an introvert, how can I make it easier for him to mentor me?

I think my mentor is an introvert because he:

  1. Rarely engages in small chat with anyone in the office
  2. Prefers spending breaks and lunch alone
  3. Prefers dealing with technical issues rather than communicating

I am a new employee and have only been working with him for a week, so I'd like to give my best shot working with him rather than asking for a different mentor or going over his head. When dealing with a technically competent coworker who is introverted, what can I do to make it easier for him to teach me what he knows?

This question doesn't assume that this is a problem with him, it just explains that you think he is an introvert for reasons A, B, and C. Rather than saying, "How the heck can I fix him?" you're asking, "How can I make myself more approachable to an introvert?"

That makes the question a lot more answerable to a broader audience, because it allows people to provide information about introverts like this TED talk or this Atlantic article, as well as sharing personal anecdotes about how to best work with someone who is introverted (for instance, scheduling meetings ahead of time so that they know when it will end and can prepare themselves ahead of time, or setting aside a specific "mentoring time" to go over any and all problems in the day rather than interrupting when something comes up, etc.).

I am not saying that your question should be the one I drafted above, but rather the question should be about the problem and not about the person for us to be able to answer well.

Until it changes to be about the problem, I will refrain from voting to reopen.


The "opinion-based" close reason doesn't mean that your question is based on your opinions, but that answers to it would be based primarily on the opinion(s) of whoever writes the answer.

I've done some editing to trim it down and make it clearer/easier to read. That may help it gather some more reopen votes (it currently has 1, and needs 5 to be reopened).

You can also bring up your concerns about this question in The Workplace Chat. You'll likely get a few different opinions there about what can be done to improve it.


I think one key issue with the question, as I commented there, is that it's not at all clear that it's this person's job to be your mentor. Can you please clarify what expectations were actually set, as opposed to ones you assumed? If I knew I had somebody for only a month I sure wouldn't invest much time in mentoring him -- not because I'm a mean person (I'm not) but because it's going to be hard for me to get much work from him, after subtracting my supervision time, in the first place that I'm not going to take on more. If I'm told to mentor someone, though, that's very different.

So you are asking one of two questions, but I can't tell which:

  1. How do I get my assigned mentor to do his job?

  2. How do I persuade my supervisor to invest effort in mentoring me when it's not part of his job?

By the way, I did vote to reopen before realizing that the question was still ambiguous. I wouldn't cast that vote now. I did not vote on the question itself (in either direction), and I think most of the answers are not very useful.

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