Well-meaning managers often respond to a worker's failure with pep talks, motivational speeches or problem analysis. That's all fine, Peter Bregman writes, but often what the people really need is empathy. "When someone has made a mistake or slipped up in some way, just listen to them. Don't interrupt, don't offer advice, don't say that it will be all right," Bregman writes. Empathetic listening communicates trust, giving employees the courage to "get up and try again," he writes.

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