USING DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE
THINK ABOUT IT …
What could happen if you use vague or subjective language in the performance reviews
Evaluations should be based on fact, not impressions, assumptions or opinions. Performance Documentation should use objective, descriptive language to describe behavior and results.
To write performance objectives, reviews, appraisals, and other
performance documentation that is clear, descriptive, objective,
and acceptable in today's workplace, try pretending that you're
a journalist. A journalist's job is to gather information by ob-
serving, interviewing, and researching, and then write a story
that includes details that tell readers what happened—without
subjective comments, opinions, etc.
Which of these statements uses objective, descriptive language?
|_______||a. The weather last Saturday was so bad I could hardly make myself get out of bed.|
|_______||b. Last Saturday, it rained for five hours straight and the temperature never rose above 42 degrees.|
Sentence (b) is the observation. Sentence (a) describes how the writer felt; the characterization of the weather as “so bad” is the writer's opinion.
In fact, another person might have characterized the same day differently:
The rain last Saturday was wonderful —I spent the day curled up in bed with a novel.