My birthday present to myself this year is a meatspace job upgrade. My internet job is, of course, going as awesomely as ever, however I just finished submitting my resignation to my old firm, and had a few thoughts about the parallels between this and WoW.
When you play WoW, there will be times when you have to reject someone. A guild officer might not accept an application, a pug leader might not take someone into the raid, or a raider might leave a guild they’re currently in. How do you handle these situations?
It’s important to avoid drama. I define drama as making yourself feel better by making others feel badly. When I have to reject an application for my guild, I do it in such a way that the person understands what the issues are, and what they can do to fix it. Whenever possible, I’ll extend an invite as a non-raider (we have both social and pvp ranks in the guild for this).Most importantly, I don’t in any way attempt to make them feel worse than they already will by having been rejected.
When I left my last guild, I didn’t leave a litany of complaints and suggestions in my wake. My only public message was one of thanks for the good times, and here’s how to reach me. “Exit interview” style information about everything you disagree with and the reason for leaving is not the kind of thing that would be best expressed publicly. Save that for the officers, if they ask for it. Also, remember that while you feel strongly about why you’re leaving, there’s no reason to lash out.
The other side of the coin
Handling rejection is as important a skill as being able to reject someone gracefully. First, understand that most people have difficulty rejecting. Their minds’ response to this will sometimes lead toward aggressiveness. Take it in stride, and give them time to cool down. Don’t hold anything they say against them until you’ve had a chance to tell them that you respect their decision, and understand why they made it. With that out of the way, most people will stop acting defensively and actually talk to you about things. This is a good place to build bridges for the future. In the example of a raider leaving my guild, I like to tell them that they’re always welcome back, and that I would like to keep in touch.
I’ve discovered a few things about leadership in the last few months running a guild. It turns out that it’s surprisingly easy to lead people in WoW- it’s a very simple equation, in fact. People want certain things from their group: stability, respect, equality, fairness, and opportunity. If you provide these things, you will earn the respect you need to lead. As it turns out, the people best suited to leading others are often the ones who want it the least. The desire for the power inherent to the job makes some people less good at it than they would be otherwise.
ps: Hunter T-shirts are still available. I might have to extend the sale until past Friday to get the minimum quantity needed to order from the printer.