Conflict often arises when incompatible ideas, values or interests lead to actions that harm others. Increasing people’s willingness to refrain from harming others can play a critical role in preventing conflict and fostering performance. We examine perspective taking as a relational micro-process related to such restraint. We argue that attending to how others appraise events supports restraint in two ways. It motivates people to act with concern and enables them to understand what others view as harmful versus beneficial. Using a matched sample of 147 knowledge workers and 147 of their leaders, we evaluate the impact of appraisal-related perspective taking on leaders’ perceptions of knowledge workers’ restraint and performance.