Office Politics: Cheat Chat

Chat is a well established part of our lives. WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, Skype, FB Messenger, Google Talk, etc. – So many options. Even in corporate context we have Lync (now Skype for Business), and others. Whether personal or corporate, we can use Chat for engaging into some cheating. Not in the true sense of the word – as in – not to violate law, but to get some political advantage. Here is how you can do it.


Photo credit: coco+kelley / Foter / CC BY-NC  and compxl / Foter / CC BY-ND

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Lync / Skype for Business Best Practice: Polls vs. Survey


I noticed one problem while attending an online meeting using Lync. I am sharing my learning for your benefit.

This is more of a concept that a feature specific discussion. You will find it useful when you want to capture the feedback of attendees quickly. I am using Skype for Business in this article. However, all these features are available in Lync as well.


Skype for Business (SFB) offers polls to capture quick feedback. Click on the Present button and choose More.


Choose Poll.


Now create the Poll.


Poll is then displayed and you can see the responses by people. You CANNOT see who clicked which option. Only the overall results.

So what is the problem?

If you do discreet polls which are unrelated to each other, there is no problem. But consider a situation where I am displaying a new product design and I want feedback from the attendees about its color, shape, size, texture, branding, interactive elements, display, packaging, etc.…

For each of these I will need to create a Poll. And this way, I will know what people think across all categories. Although technically possible, it becomes confusing for people to answer too many separate polls. While they are answering about color, they cannot answer about the shape. So they think of each item in isolation.

What is a better way?

This is where the new concept comes in. Notice that you are creating too many polls which are related to some common thing or topic. That is the time to STOP making too many polls and create a SURVEY.

In a survey, the questionnaire can contain all attributes in a single place. This way, people can also provide a concise and logically relevant feedback.

Of course, survey cannot be created in Lync / SFB. We have to use some other tool for it. It could be SharePoint, InfoPath, Excel Survey (available on OneDrive), or any third party tools / services.

How the survey is conducted is secondary.

Best practice – Too many Polls >> One Survey

Try it out and let me know the results.


Tired of long mail trails? Why not just chat and finish it off?

Length of mail trails is proportional to your seniority (usually)! People just keep discussing, debating, arguing – with no end in sight. Never ending story. Sometimes, mail is NOT the best option to come to a consensus or resolve an issue. We need everyone to be present at the same time and focus on the problem at hand. Yes I know – all these people are in different continents or castles (!) – no problem. There is an elegant solution available …

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SharePoint Part 15 – Efficient Business Management

This is the last episode in the SharePoint series. Thanks Raj Chaudhuri for the script, content, voiceovers and all the help. Raj is my friend and an authority on .NET platform  – and SharePoint specifically.

These videos were created in 2013. Therefore the logos and screenshots depict older versions of products. However the concepts – which are more important – are still valid.