I am team lead of the Information Security Operations team where I work. Several weeks ago, a new team member joined the team. This person a very strong technical background (several years of relevant work experience with two industry certifications - CISSP and CISA). He is reliable and has a great attitude.
Generally, I really like this person, but I have found he often lacks initiative and seems hesitant to participate fully in team discussions and offer opinions in team debate. As team lead, I encourage a diplomatic management style, where I see my role as to facilitate / mentor among equals, not to command and dictate. A team where micro - management is kept to minimum and where all team members make personal contributions to discussion is preferred. A flat hierarchy and transparent communication is also espoused by senior management.
To give some example of this new team members reluctance to participate:
I had him do a first round screening of a resume of a new SOC engineer and provide me with his feedback. When I discussed with him, his basic response was that he wanted me to make a final decision, and that he no preference either way. I found this reaction somewhat odd, as it would be to all team member's interests to feel comfortable with a potential new colleague. If there was something that concerns him, I want to hear to about it, to better inform my hiring decision.
I had him review our annual penetration testing report and provide feedback on the vulnerability remediation plan. I provided him resources in the company he could talk to as well as well as references to online resources such as MITRE and OWASP. He did not seem confident in his analysis and frequently consulted me as a source of authority.
This person is from an East Asian country but grew up in the USA, so not sure if this is a cultural issue. My goal is for this person to become more independent, and feel more at ease with contributing their own opinions to the team. I want to feel comfortable with voicing constructive criticism and a differences in opinion.
How can I support this person to show more initiative and function more independently within the team?