Three Types of Kindness

This post is based around Seth Godin’s 3 Types of Kindness – one thing that this world (and our business) can definitely use more of. Here are his 3 types of kindness mixed with some of my own comments and research on the matter:

The first Kindness is the kindness of manners & being polite:  ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ and ‘I was wrong, I’m sorry.’ This also has to do with not interrupting those who are speaking and un-distracted attention. This kindness smooths our interactions and help other people feel that you are aware of them, see them, and respect them. This kindness doesn’t cost much, it takes little or no effort (especially if practiced as a part of normal conversation). In most settings engaging with this type of kindness is an essential part of connection, engagement and forward motion.

The second Kindness is the kindness of dignity & respect. Dignity is ‘to be worthy’ – an inherent humanity that no one can take away.  Respect, on the other hand, is earned and ‘to be recognized.’ This kindness has to do with giving someone the benefit of the doubt. This kindness sees someone for the person that they are…and also the person they can become – it realizes that everyone, including me and you, has a noise in our heads, a story to be told, fear to be danced with, and dreams to be realized. This kindness is meant to bring the best out in people – possibly helping them see the best in themselves.

The third Kindness is the kindness of not seeking term personal gain. A kindness that builds something for the community, something for the benefit of others without regard for personal recognition or gain. This kindness seeks out those who have the greatest need and helps them. It is service to others. It is planting the seed of a tree under which you will never sit.

Kindness is not always easy or obvious. Sometimes a deep breath is required, a moment of silence, a pause….before kindness flows through us. But kindess is the best response, always. You can simply never go wrong with kindness.

Kindness multiplies and enables possibility. When we’re in service to others, we have the chance to make things better.