Sample #17: Directive vs Descriptive Approach

One way to improve the tone of voice of your instructions is to switch from a directive approach to a descriptive one.

Instead of telling people what to buy at the store, tell them what a full shopping cart looks like. Instead of telling them how to tidy their workspace, describe what a tidy workspace looks like.

When you describe what ‘good’ looks like, you set a standard to be achieved. To adults, that approach sounds more helpful and respectful than a list of directives to follow.


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