I have often been approached by users on the matter of how to best respond to people, what tone to take into the discussion and what a best practice for a good discussion could be. Let me tell you that there is no golden rule but there are certainly a few things that make a good discussion. Let me try and share some of them with you here and maybe it will help all forum members who are responding to posts.
Here we go.
1. Read the question.
This should be obvious but sometimes we do not read the question completely or understand the context. It would help to spend sometime on the question, understand what the ask is and then think about the answer before rushing to type the answer.
2. Answer the question.
This one should also be obvious but keeping to answer to the point on what is being asked would immensely help the person asking the question. Also before rushing to answer the question, use the search facility in the forum to see if the question is answered already.
3. Give love!
If the question is unique or challenging or helps you in a direct or an indirect way, go ahead and like the question. You will get good karma for this too!
Before you answer, please go through the answers in the post which are already provided by other users. Make sure that you do not give the same solution. There is nothing more frustrating for a desperate soul looking for answer and to find out that it is a duplicate which they have already tried and failed.
Sometimes the person asking the question does not provide all the information needed to respond with an answer. The person might not be a native English speaker and in these scenarios, ask probing questions to narrow down the problem. (For anyone interested: Socratic questioning - Wikipedia 2)
6. Be nice.
Add a personal touch, don’t come across as a robot, we are all humans here.