Thursday, October 2, 2008

Are Raid Leaders Jerks?

Strange situation for me is that I've never been part of a 25-person raid that I wasn't raid leader for. (*)

This means that I don't have a whole lot of knowledge of what other raids are like or what other raid leaders are like.

I only know what ours are like.

The feedback I usually get is pretty positive, both about the leadership and the raid as a whole. This feedback comes from the Officers, guildies, and PuG members alike.

Ok, that's neat, I like to hear good things. Makes ya feel warm and fuzzy. Makes the seemingly endless time spent developing strategy, reviewing performance and stats, heartbreak from having to tell people "no, you cant play tonight", all worth it.

When in a leadership position in any slice of life, whether it be work, sports, volunteer fire service, you name it, positive feedback is always a nice thing, but needs to be taken with a grain of salt. If it comes from your boss at work or your fire chief, its probably pretty reasonable (grain of pepper?). If it comes from people who depend upon you for a monetary bonus or raise at work, or depend upon you for a raid invite...those people technically have a vested interest in being on your good side, so as the recipient of the feedback, you need to maintain some perspective.

So what I usually look for is a balance. Take the raving positive comments and the hysterical dramatic negative comments and discard them as outliers, and somewhere in the middle is where you'll find the real answer of how you're doing.

The thing is, haven't really received much criticism. Very few "room for improvement" type of comments.

Occasional strategy tweaks, or even massive strategy reversals, get proposed during our outside of raids.

But that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about atmosphere, environment, style, leadership. Those softer things, not the cold hard facts of any given boss encounter.

So, being apt to inflate my own ego (I mean, really, can you walk past a mirror and NOT look at your own hair? Magnificent :-), I can process this information and come to the conclusion that I'm super awesome. Yay me.

But, although I jest in this blog about ego inflation (not the hair though, I'm serious about that one) and meter topping, I am actually a down to earth kind of guy. I know that maybe awesome is the word, not super awesome, lol.

I try to keep the raid focused on a mission. Using judgment over when time for discussion is over and the time for action is upon us. Trying to treat each wipe as a constructive experience. Encouraging people to admit mistakes without fear of punishment. Asking for input from random members on the strengths of their class or strats they've seen. I mean, this is all progression for me, I haven't seen any of these fights before, and the youtube vids are so grainy I can't tell tom from dick from hairy in those.

Sometimes the job requires me to dictate things to people. "You, do this. You, do that. You guys, stand here and avoid that giant ball falling from the sky. You, zip you lip." Sometimes tough to give orders in purely recreational pursuit. But you use judgment over when to give an order, delegate so the order comes from someone else, or just keep it quiet and allow people to decide for themselves. You can't get it right always, but hopefully more often than not.

And the feedback has been positive.

It leads me down the path of wondering what the other 25-person raids are like.

So I'm looking for some reader feedback about their 25-person experience.

What are some out of the ordinary things your raid leaders do that you like? Do they talk a lot, do they keep quiet?

Have you come across some jerk Raid Leaders? Have you been in raids where the general atmosphere was just dismal? Ever run into a screamer? I've read about RL's who scream at people or kick them out for wiping the raid, and I'd love to hear about that.

Hell, if you're in my raids, do you have moments where you want to just scream at me? or just minor annoyances? Use the anonymous posting feature to chew me out here :-)

I'm curious to learn more about other raids so I might find new ways to keep things fresh and keep my raiders engaged.

(*) Technically, there was that one Magtheridon attempt WAAAY before we were ready for it. It was an utter nightmare, but due to a few bad apple raid members who were swiftly encouraged out of the guild, not at all due to the raid leader.


Leiandra said...

I know that one of the things that irks me is when a raid leader belittles the group. I tend to ask the group what went wrong even if I know exactly what went wrong. It helps them learn the encounter as well. (Obviously this can be taken to an extreme and make people feel stupid.) It also helps so that I don't falsely accuse people of things.

I know I've had raid leaders that will yell at people and call them names. Sometimes they're effective and get the job done, yes, but it's not really the type of person I enjoy hanging out with... even if I'm not the one being called stupid.

Anonymous said...

By far my worst raid experiences (in terms of pure fail) were the ones where the leader is too diffident. By all means ask for strategy tips etc but when it comes down to pull time, as raid leader, you gotta make the call.

Everyone has more fun if things run smoothly. That comes down to the raid leader. Sometimes this is tough (sitting guys out), sometimes this is fun (figuring out boss strategies).

I wouldn't worry too much though - if you weren't doing a good job (1) bosses wouldn't be going down (which they are) and (2) people would stop coming to raids (which they aren't).