We all know people who seek too much approval or reassurance. As a leader to them, your authority seems amplified -- your opinions and decisions impact their very sense of security or self-worth. They may strike you as overly needy, clingy, or fawning. As their leader, it's a responsibility you don't need or want.
You can use that bit of extra "power" you have with them to wean them off of the habit of taking you too much to heart, and needing more of you than, well, necessary.
It's time for some candid feedback. Coach them to greater effectiveness by explaining how they are coming across to you (which may be in their blind spot), and how your actions / decisions / assessments are neither an endorsement nor indictment of them as a person. Take the lead on alleviating this burden helps you and the other person achieve greater results together.
- Is there anyone on your team who seems to need more reassurance and/or approval than others?
- Would there be something to gain by explaining to them privately, candidly, and kindly how they are coming across to you?
- If you were to cut off giving that person extra approval or reassurance, what would be at stake for them and for you?
- What can you commit to changing when it comes to the person who seeks too much from you?