Polling Thread - Personality Special

by Gunnar_Zarncke 2 min read5th Nov 201418 comments


Another installment of the Polling Thread.

This is a special installment: It's about getting feedback about you! 

It has been said Don't Be Afraid of Asking Personally Important Questions of Less Wrong. And there is a Curiosity checklist: Looking for feedback. We are in a Tell Culture. So why not learn something about yourself? For some people it is easy to sense how they are perceived. For some it is difficult. Even if you get feedback it is (luckily!) more often positive - but this sometimes leaves out murky key points. Giving constructive personal feedback is difficult. Lets try it.

By focussing this thread on personal feedback I want to prime you and the other participants on giving and receiving constructive personal feedback.

Do not assume that Crocker's Rules apply by default. If you want to operate under Crockers rules you should clearly indicate thus.

The following rules (from Admonymous) should give a guideline on giving feedback: 

  • Be constructive. Make sure the recipient can act upon your admonition. Good: "Please try to make less clicking noises. A lot of people are annoyed by them." Bad: "You suck."
  • Admire. Just as the recipient may need your feedback to change behavior that bothers you, they may not be aware of how other aspects of their behavior please you, and even if they are not blind to it, you could encourage them further by giving explicit praise. Use the site to encourage positive behavior as much as you use it to change negative behavior.
  • Be gentle. As long as you get the message through, there is no need to be harsh. How you express an admonition can be almost as important as the content. Be mindful of wording, and use softer forms over more harsh alternatives (for example, consider using “could” instead of “should”). Good: "Sometimes you smell of sweat. Perhaps you could shower more often." Bad: "You stink!"
  • Be specific. Provide as many details as you can without exposing yourself. Not only is this going to help the recipient identify exactly the problematic aspects of their behavior, it will also encourage them to take you seriously. Good: “When you arrange meetings, sometimes they are ineffective because you don’t stop people when they go off-topic.” Bad: “Your meetings are wasting people’s time.”
  • Be concrete. If you can point out specific actions, it will be easier for the recipient to figure out how to change their behavior. Good: "Please clean up more thoroughly after you use the espresso machine." Bad: "Be more clean."
  • Don't abuse. It's easy to be mean when anonymity protects you. Remember that the goal is helping your friends, not making them feel miserable.
  • Sandwich. People will find it much easier to address your admonitions if you surround them by admirations. Good: "I love your social nature in the office, but sometimes you speak very loudly, and it makes it hard for other people to work." Bad: "You talk loudly in the office all day long."
  • Exercise discretion. You're not here to organize the world's information: there may be things that people don't know and they're better off not knowing. Remember the recipient is not perfect and their self-esteem is at stake along with their behavior. Try to avoid admonitions that are likely to generate more harm than good, and think before you click. For example: "She told me just before she got on the plane that she never really loved you."
  • Be aware of your power. Place yourself in the recipient’s shoes and imagine how you would feel if you were the one to receive the admonition that you just wrote.

I recommend to phrase your question in the form of a poll but you can just ask questions too.

I will start with a simple Big Five query below.


If you want to try more there are sites that assist you in getting feedback like Admonymous. Sometimes a simple Google Form will do too. 

Even if you don't want to participate in personality discussion this is still your chance to ask your multiple choice question you always wanted to throw in. Get qualified numeric feedback to your comments. Post fun polls.

These are the rules:

  1. Each person or poll goes into its own top level comment and may be commented there.
  2. You must at least vote all polls that were posted earlier than you own. This ensures participation in all polls and also limits the total number of polls. You may of course vote without posting a poll.
  3. Your poll should include a 'don't know' option (to avoid conflict with 2). I don't know whether we need to add a troll catch option here but we will see.
If you don't know how to make a poll in a comment look at the Poll Markup Help.

This is a somewhat regular thread. If it is successful I may post again. Or you may. In that case do the following :

  • Use "Polling Thread" in the title.
  • Copy the rules.
  • Add the tag "poll".
  • Link to this Thread or a previous Thread.
  • Create a top-level comment saying 'Discussion of this thread goes here; all other top-level comments should be polls or similar'
  • Add a second top-level comment with an initial poll to start participation.