This article at Fast Company points toward inherent psychological conditioning that causes many of us to get in our own way in the workplace. To be an outstanding leader, whether at a law firm or company, is not only about being tactically and technically sound, but also about facilitating the process of allowing the best of people to emerge.
I can't count the times my internal voices have shouted negative messages so loudly they've overwhelmed me. It's that little voice inside saying, "you're in over your head", and "you'll never get it right enough...". Self-intimidation can be a real problem and it's going on in the heads of the people around you all the time.
Of course, we can't stop after every task assigned to have a group hug, or do a 12-step emotional check-in, but we can be aware and look for ways to reduce the fear of failure in those we mentor.
The practice of law may be fairly black and white, but the people in it never will be.