Be Impeccable with Your Words

What is it?

Be Impeccable with Your Words is a practice to uncover the power of your words on yourself and others.

Why use it?

Changing the way you speak or the way you think is not difficult but you need to invest a deliberate amount of energy to make it happen. Once you catch yourself with one of your automatic reactions, you can choose to change the way you express yourself. Be Impeccable with Your Words is one of the Toltec Agreements crafted by Don Miguel Ruiz: “Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”


Create a calendar for the next five days with two checkboxes for each day, one for the morning, one for the evening. Once you complete a session, check the box. Display the calendar where it is visible to you, Alexis keeps his on his desk; Michael prefers to have it next to his bed. You may also want to set reminders on your phone so that you really don’t forget about the activity.


  • Choose an event or part of the day when you are going to be conscious of being impeccable with your words. It could be during a meeting, a casual conversation, or choosing to react differently when someone starts venting or gossiping.
  • Tick the box on your calendar.


  • Reflect on the day and make a note on:
  • How well you felt you did (this could be on a 1 to 5 scale or use green, yellow, red).
  • What you could do differently tomorrow.
  • Tick the box on your calendar.

At the end of the fifth day:

  • Look back at your notes on the past five days and evaluate your ratings.
  • What do you notice?
  • What conversations are more difficult than others?
  • What will you try next? The same experiment again, or a different experiment?

Remember, rewiring the brain takes repetition, so it’s better to focus on changing one automatic reaction at a time.

Further Information


  • Alexis Monville

    Alexis Monville worked in multicultural and distributed environments for years, coming back from the US and now based in the southwest of France. When asked if he misses the work in the office, he usually answers that he spent half of his 30 years of management experience in diverse sectors outside of the office and a lot of that working from home. Alexis is Chief of Staff to the CTO at Red Hat, a long-time hybrid open-source software company with more than 100 office locations in 40 countries, where half of the 20,000 people work remotely. Alexis is a firm believer that change starts with the self. He is the author of two books: Changing Your Team From The Inside and I am a Software Engineer and I am in Charge. Alexis facilitates successful playful collaborations. He designs and builds sustainable and high-impact teams and organizations.