You’ve finally done it: You’ve become the boss. Yes, you’re in charge of a team and it feels great. You’re delegating, you’re leading meetings and you’re fielding questions. What happens when your team is feeling a little lackluster? There are some things that an emoticon-laden email simply cannot fix.

Fortunately, it’s easy to build up those around you, and as a leader, it’s pretty darn vital that you learn them. Below you’ll find 10 easy ways to instill your teammates with the confidence and drive that’ll fuel all of you to the finish line.


  1. Say Cheese

You want to know the easiest way to make someone feel comfortable in your presence? Fill your office with beanbag chairs. If that’s not possible, try smiling. A friendly face will make your team feel closer and more connected to you, which means they’re more likely to share ideas and opinions.


  1. Don’t Hold Back

Remember how frustrating it was when you’d catch your parents whispering, but they wouldn’t tell you what was going on? Your employees will find this sort of exclusion to be disheartening, too. It turns out that sharing the stuff that you know – and that’s not truly confidential – will make trust between you stronger. It’ll also allow your team to make informed decisions in a pinch.


  1. Make Greatness a Goal

Not everyone is Michael Jordan. By that, we mean that not everyone will be the best. Instead, they’ll need a little coaxing, and that’s where you come in. Challenge your team members with projects that you know they’re capable of, but haven’t tried yet. You’ll both feel like His Airness when the plan succeeds.


  1. Acknowledge the Good Stuff

We’re not talking about your colleague’s cute new blazer – although that might warrant a compliment of its own. As a leader, it’s imperative that you give praise where praise is due. No matter how big or small of an accomplishment is achieved, be sure to dole out the proper amount of kudos. Good vibes are empowering, too.


  1. Foster Team Vibes

Want to feel like a team? Act like one. As the boss, you should make it a point to organize group lunches, happy hours or outings. Hanging out outside of the office will help you build a better rapport, which’ll make you all more comfortable as both friends and colleagues, which is crucial to your success.


  1. Accept Successes and Failures

Not every at-bat will be a home run. Praise your colleagues for trying new plans and tactics, even if they’re not successful. This will give them the confidence to try new things in the future that just might be crazy enough to work.


  1. Put on a Talent Show

When you notice that someone on your team is really good at something – and he or she isn’t taking advantage of it – it’s time to spring into action. Encourage him or her to cultivate that talent and put it to use on special tasks and projects.


  1. Teach Them Your Ways

Now that you’re the boss, you can believe that there are some members of your team that want to know just how you got to where you are. No need to pull out a soapbox here; instead, share tricks and tips that will help everyone rise to greatness. Weekly emails with computer tips and shortcuts, monthly public-speaking practice for new sales reps or simply opening your office for nonwork-related chats can work wonders.


  1. Group Think

As your elementary school gym teacher constantly reminded you, there’s no I in team. If you want everyone on your team to feel a part of it, let them. Spending a few minutes sharing ideas can have all of you snowballing and creating an even better iteration. You’ll all feel pretty darn great after contributing to a new plan.


  1. Be True to You

No matter which one, two or three of these tips you follow, it’s imperative that you do so with complete genuineness. Most adults are fully aware when a compliment or a kind word is not sincere. Ensure that you’re truly inspiring and empowering others by being real with them. Trust us, they won’t even notice your smile is a little bit crooked – they’re just glad they don’t have to deal with a bad boss.

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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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