How to Measure the Impact of Words

You want a life of impact but what if you talk all day. Action feels more impactful than words. The further you are from the frontline the more you talk.

Some people are seduced by the sound of their own voice. But high aspiration leaders want a life of impact.

Design a life of impact or you'll dance with trivialities.

How do you measure impact if you talk all day? You might brag that you attended 4 meetings and had 7 conversations, but how does that prove impact?

How do you measure the impact of answering 27 emails? You can’t touch anything to prove you finished something. An empty inbox is momentary gratification.

How to measure the impact of words:

#1. Define better:

The only reason to open your mouth is to make something better. Determine what better looks like before you open your mouth.

Ask people to help set goals for conversations. “What’s going to make our conversation useful to you?” Or ask, “What would you like to take away from our conversation?”

Words are rudders.

#2. Ask impactful questions.

  1. What are you proud you’re doing?
  2. What’s holding you back?
  3. What’s the next step?
  4. What are you great at?
  5. What are you trying to accomplish?

#3. Ask people to explain your impact.

At the end of conversations ask…

  1. What’s your takeaway from our conversation? I asked a client, “What’s your takeaway from our conversation. He said, “Affirmation he was on the right path.”
  2. How has our conversation been useful to you?

It takes courage to ask the above questions, but wouldn’t it be good to know if you wasted your time?


Progress feels meaningful.  

Visible results feel impactful.

Meeting a specific goal – that means something to you – feels impactful.

Design a life of impact or you’ll dance with trivialities.

How can you measure the impact of your words?

If Words Had Calories – Suggestions for Bloviators – Leadership Freak

4 Ways to Talk Like a Leader – Leadership Freak

How do you write a book about humility? John David Mann and I wrote The Vagrant.

Order The Vagrant:


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