Here is a food for thought question when it comes to business etiquette: All ego aside, can you claim you are the best in the world at what you do? Do you really know your competition and their level of expertise so well that you can judge your superiority over theirs?
Sometimes the claim comes in the words, preeminent, finest, best, leading expert, or foremost. Recently I received a question through the column I write about the proper business etiquette of claiming you are the best at what you do. My opinion is that no one can claim they are the best at what they do unless they have been judged by the world as such.
Even in our business, the business of teaching etiquette and protocol, there are practitioners who claim that their company is the best -- better than all the others who do the same work. They claim that their company and their expertise is better than mine and others who have more experience, clients and press recognition.
Does that claim advance their reputation? Can't everybody see through it and judge them less kindly as egotistical, boastful and false? I believe they do and what is that judgment to the brand the person or company is seeking to establish? How have they proven they are the best? As my father used to say, "When you think you are the ripest fruit on the tree that is when you begin to rot."
Cynthia Lett is an eminent etiquette and protocol expert with over 27 years teaching the subjects to professionals worldwide. She is the Executive Director of the International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals and Director of The Lett Group. She has earned the distinctions of Certified Etiquette Professional (CEP) and Certified Protocol Professional (CPP). Learn more about business etiquette.
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