Q: I have a new intern who gets tongue-tied every time I ask for his opinion. He does good work, and I don't want him to feel anxious. What can I do to help him feel more confident?
A: I kind of want to hug you. Try asking questions by email or saying, "When you have time later, I'd like your thoughts on -------." Give him opportunities to prepare and deliver presentations to small, friendly groups. And, because I will be hounded if I don't mention this: Suggest Toastmasters.
Karla L. Miller writes an advice column on navigating the modern workplace. Each week she will answer one or two questions from readers.
Miller has written for and edited tax publications for 16 years, most recently for the accounting firm KPMG's Washington National Tax office.