It’s an awkward situation many managers have faced: giving negative feedback to an employee who becomes emotional and cries. Keeping calm and showing empathy can make the situation bearable and even productive, according to a recent blog posting at

The posting, by Karin Hurt and David Dye, urges managers and executives to stay cool, even when an employee hearing negative feedback is anything but. Showing empathy and patiently waiting for calm to prevail are actions that can help, they write.

“Emotions can be contagious,” Hurt and Dye write. “As a leader, it is important that you keep the conversation in perspective. You’re giving them feedback because you care and want to help. Their reaction is not about you. Don’t take it personally. Calm, neutral and curious is your mantra.”

Once calm is restored, the manager can patiently ask the employee to recap the message and what will be done to address any employer concerns, according to the blog.

The full blog posting – “What To Do if They Cry” – can be accessed through this link.