kindness as strategy

by smb on June 20, 2009

I just finished reading this story about a waitress who successfully handled a difficult customer with strategic kindness (via a tweet by @zappos).

To me, it’s both an encouraging, and discouraging story. I want to believe that kindness is gift that one gives without expecting an outcome; that it is selfless. At the same time, I also know that it can be the most gentle way to externally influence someone’s behavior.

Perhaps it is a means to an end, but the strategic application of kindness might also undermine its value and make gentle acts seem calculating.


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