SAP Community – Empathy where has it gone?
This is driven by a question I got in linkedin. This has nothing to do with the SAP Community platform. This is something we can fix today. The question/comment from Linkedin “When there are questions asked one or more of the following happens”:
- This has already been answered please search for it
- A link in the answer that sort of answer the question
- An answer that they are using obsolete code and should start over using the newer constructs of class/methods
While all the above might be very true, it doesn’t help the person who asked the question and at times makes them feel stupid. Cause/Effect – I feel stupid / I won’t ask questions. I search SAP for an answer. I read answers like the above. I won’t ask my question.
So where has the empathy gone? Is it because too many questions fall in the range above? I didn’t believe him until I looked at the questions and answers here. And found he was correct.
My humble suggestions:
- Instead of just saying search for it. Give the person the search terms that may lead them to their answer. Then suggest if they don’t find the answer to come back and explain what they have done.
- See the answer again. Links are frustrating. Not just to the person asking the question, but to the person searching for an answer. If they come back and the link could help, then cut and past some information into the question and ask if there is a bigger issue.
- An answer of you are using obsolete coding structures try with xyz. That one has to be the worst. It is really saying – don’t you know how to code right? Instead of that answer, find out what they want. Suggest that in the future they use xyz, but answer the question they are asking. Even be a bit of a cheerleader and boost their confidence.
- If someone is asking for code or a complete solution… Well then that is just lack of knowledge of what the community does. Simply answer that we – the community- would be happy to help, but what have you written so far?
Newer code – yes everyone should be using it. But what if they work at a company where writing class/methods is not allowed because not everyone can support it. It’s not their fault they are using older coding methods. (This is a simple example – there are more)
Yes, I know it can be frustrating. The exact same question has been asked a million times.
This is something we can address right now. Start using empathy for the person that asks the question. We might see an increase in questions. We might see an increase in people here in the community.
Here I got a great comment from Nic Teunckens – he pointed me to yes another blog. This blog is dated but still true. Asking Good Questions will get you Good Answers. I’m adding it here in case you don’t read the comments.
I know there will be disagreement with me —- please do comment. I like to read the comments. I’ll reply back to them. Remember the only stupid question is the one not asked.