Refer to my question here.

As you can see, the question is being closed as "not constructive" because "there is no right answer to my question", as claimed by Chad in his comment. But I would argue that a lot of the questions on workplace should be closed also if this policy is enforced strictly. Question such as "Is it rude to leave an interview early if you have already made your decision?" and "How soon should you return to work after illness?" are all subjective questions that can have no single right answer, are likely to invite extended discussion and disagreement and therefore, are no more constructive than mine.

My question is no worse than the above two examples I cite, therefore I don't understand why my question is closed whereas the above two aren't.

Can the mods reopen my question?

  • 3
    Good job on your edits! It looks like you were able to convince the community to reopen. :) Welcome to Workplace SE!
    – jmort253
    Nov 29, 2012 at 4:29

2 Answers 2


You make a great point about many of the questions on the site being of a subjective nature, and that's fine. Subjective questions are okay as long as they follow the guidelines in Good Subjective, Bad Subjective.

The two questions you reference have a different vibe to them. Facts are presented, and at the end, the asker poses a subjective question. The answers are supported by facts, references, or personal experience.

The problem that I see with your question is that there is not enough clarification as to what exactly your question is. This is extremely broad:

Am I doing the right thing under this circumstances?

What do you mean here? Are you doing the right thing about what exactly? Approaching an employee about performance without proof? Asking an employee if he thinks he's giving it his best? Or something else?

Note that subjective questions that are specific tend to fare much better than very open ended ones like this, which don't help get focused answers. Instead, try something like this:

What can I do to make sure that I don't insult my employees when I approach them about their work performance?

In summary, your question was closed, but deep down I really don't think it's much different than the two questions you cite, but it would help make your case for reopening much stronger if you make some edits such as what I've suggested. Be very clear what your question is and define what problem you are trying to solve.

Before editing, first take a look at the answers. Do they answer your question? If they do, then you may want to just move on, as edits may invalidate your answers. However, if these answers don't answer your question, then feel free to give your post a stronger focus.

Once that's done, edit your post here, and the community will take a look and re-evaluate. Good luck! :)

  • I've made the edit by asking more specifically on what do I mean by "doing the right thing"
    – ProgDog
    Nov 28, 2012 at 3:43
  • I actually think your post would benefit from removing some information that isn't necessary. Sometimes less is more; there's a lot to be said for conciseness. You could try that, or you could wait and see if anyone else has any constructive advice. Hope this helps. :)
    – jmort253
    Nov 28, 2012 at 4:39
  • 1
    In that case, I think it's better if I just started a new question and left the old one remained closed as it is now.
    – ProgDog
    Nov 28, 2012 at 8:33

I agree with jmort253's comments in general, and would add the following as a response to the "why close?" question: the five close votes for the community closure may have been split in several different categories, with the final vote being the one that triggered the not-constructive reason. Or, all five might have been not-constructive votes -- I don't know.

I do know that I personally could see three different and equally valid reasons for closing the question; in situations like these it's usually of benefit to look at the comments on the post, especially those from people who cast close votes (as you did, since you referenced Chad's comment and vote, above). At least one other user commented it might be a duplicate of How to deal with a team in which one of the members doesn't accept critique?.

In looking at your question, it is very much geared toward your very specific situation and asking if you, in this instance, are "doing the right thing" -- fair enough, as it's your question! But in the StackExchange format, we try to ensure the creation (and editing) of questions that solve generalized workplace problems, while still using the specific circumstances that people bring to the table as supporting evidence. In other words, trying to find the balance of answering a user's question to a practical problem they are facing in the workplace, in a way that is useful to many current and future users -- and often that means editing the question to get to the heart of it, and stripping away specifics.

Now, if we were to do that (strip away the specifics and find the core workplace problem for which an answer would be useful for many different visitors at different times) with your question, it is quite similar to the "How to deal with a team in which one of the members doesn't accept critique" question linked above and also offered in comments as a possible duplicate. Or, you could turn the situation around and leverage answers to that existing question and make your question as "simple" as: "How do I move forward with an employee with whom I tried to teach instead of criticize and offer feedback instead of criticism, who has totally shut down?" Ok, maybe not that specific question, because it's really long, but hopefully you see my point.

As a moderator, I wouldn't open this question myself, especially when it was a community closure. I would, however, suggest you attempt to edit it as I and others have suggested.

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