Oh, something else I forgot about this morning.
I use a long “retractable” dog leash leadership style. I’m not going to micromanage and I expect my first officers are going to make mistakes, discover “ooh! crap!” and then course correct back to where they should be. That way they learn, let their own “inner voice” develop and makes for a more cohesive operation. If they’ve “walked down the wrong alleyway” and are about to get hurt, I’ll step in right when I almost can’t save them and then we’ll talk about it.
Some copilots will interpret an open, friendly, “make your own decisions and I’ll veto when appropriate” as an “I’m the alpha, anything goes, amma do whatever I want without regard to convention and procedure”. You’ve got to be swift to learn about the personality you’re working with that is going to misinterpret your “niceness” as “weakness” and think it’s their airplane. Don’t be afraid to confirm that you’re Alpha wolf if you have to. 95% of guys you fly with will flourish in an open leadership style, 5% of them might need to have corrective action. (“Hey, close the cockpit door, it’s cold”, “Are you asking me or are you telling me? If you’re cold, close the door, but either way bring a grey bag from the galley” and then smile widely so he doesn’t really understand if you’re serious or being sarcastic)
I’m actually suffering/learning a bit from this, primarily the second part where that 5% need corrective action because like you said they take niceness as weakness. Trying to learn how to establish alpha in a case like that but without hurting CRM. For the first 200-300 hrs, it was the mechanics of the new left seat, eg, dealing with flying with left hand, dealing with ops, dispatch, the operational stuff. But now I think for the 300-700 hr mark in the left seat as new, is learning how to deal with these kinds of FO dynamics.