Lessons in Relationships: Between the Raid Leader and the Raid

One of the few activities in life that I’ve never given up since getting out of high school is reading. I’m not referring to sitting on your butt in front of the screen reading blogs all day. I mean actually reading a book in a coffee shop or on your couch or on your patio on a sunny day. Anyway, the latest book I’ve started reading is called Brain Rules (12 principles for surviving and thriving at Work, Home, and school) by John Medina. It’s a great book and I encourage everyone to see if they can pick up a copy from their local library. There’s lot of great concepts in there that apply in almost every situation.

If you’re a guild leader, a raid leader, a class leader, an officer, a healing leader, or someone in any kind of authoritative position that the rest of the guild looks to, then the story here becomes that much more relevant.

The Story

In the book, there’s a brief story by a flight instructor and his student. This student of his was a literal ace. She kicked total ass on the ground in all of the classes. She beat the simulations and dominated her courses. Her practical lessons in the sky showed she had a knack for flying was listed as a natural with the ability to improvise in different weather conditions.

The instructor was having a bad day during one of these lessons. He saw her do something completely naive. He yelled at her and pushed her hands away from the plane’s yoke (a steering wheel for planes, I believe. He pointed at an instrument, still angry. The student was stunned and she tried to fix her errors. But you and I both know that stress causes more errors. She wasn’t able to think as clearly. When you’re flying in a plane, that alone can prove to be fatal. She started crying and buried her head in her hands. The instructor assumed control of the plane and landed it without any more incident.

And for the longest time, the student would not get back into the same cockpit.

15 thoughts on “Lessons in Relationships: Between the Raid Leader and the Raid”

  1. I’ll finish it for you Matticus!

    . . . This anecdote illustrates the level of responsibility a raid leader must assume. Those who lead–in raids or in life–must always remember that good teaching means adapting the lesson to your audience. Stress can lead to negative outcomes, even for the best students. Stress on the part of a leader or instructor can ruin even the best of lessons. Even when things are about to get messy, the best leaders will address the situation logically and calmly. If you are a raid leader, make your instructions specific and polite. I know we’ve all said “click on the thing with the thing RIGHT NOW!” but for the best results, accuracy is key.

    So, for all raid leaders or prospective raid leaders: breathe, take your time, and keep a cool enough head to remember the specifics.

  2. I’ve read some of Daniel Coleman who also looks at leadership when I was Managing people, and I do believe that a lot of raid leaders would benifit from reading people management books, if anything it shows that they while they are willing to learn about strats, and watch videos and do all their rosters, that what most never look at or read are anything on how to be a good leader. I know there are books on bosses from hell.. howabout Raidleaders from hell..

  3. Wait a minute. You expect me to hold your hand and translate to you what that story means? What happened to my lessons on critical thinking and being able to interpret and take away the meaning from whatever you read?

    It’s like asking me to spoil the ending of a movie. Or giving MacGyver an actual set of tools.

    Yes, the abrupt end was intentional. If you still aren’t sure what the message is, Sydera’s hit the nail on the head.

  4. “Wait a minute. You expect me to hold your hand…”
    Exactly what ~50% of raiders out there expect from their raid leader.

    But what do you do about the idiot that continually makes the same mistakes over and over?
    Coaching only goes so far, so just take a lesson from the flight instructor and scream at them.

  5. – Doug – I don’t want my hand held.. but What I expect is that my raid leader to know more about the fight then I do – and realistically strategised at least basically what he expects each class to be able to do.. Im not saying that being a leader is easy… seriously hats off to those who are and stay that way – but we have seen alot of big guilds disband on our server recently… and most of the reasons don’t seem to be because of lack of progression, its been either too many changes in leadership or not enough of the right leadership. And maybe at the cost of progression and time,if it matters enough that person who is being screamed at needs a one on one talk. Just like a manager would do in the real world, and say. Look your screwing up – BUT this is how you can fix it. Screaming will not fix the problem. Giving them practical advise while maybe time consuming will produce a Better and more loyal player… and that has to be one of the long term keys for sucess. It might sound like a carebear approach but if your being an Asshat screaming at people in vent all the time, you will have people Hate the game. Hate you.. and they will continue having performance issues. Fear may last longer when ruling.. but this is a game and people naturally want to suceed and have fun.. and if u keep screaming.. people will lose respect and u will lose ur leadership…
    /end rant

  6. My raids usually end up having the “goodcop, badcop” dynamic where one always remains positive and encourages everybody, while the other is more frank/blunt about people who are messing things up.

  7. The best leaders can teach someone, give feedback on doing things better, point out mistakes – all while building the student’s confidence.

  8. I’m in total agreement with pugnaciouspriest. I was the raid leader last night, and one of our guild leader was in the raid. We were having a rough time of it that only seemed to get worse when the guild leader started yelling at people on vent. The fact was that he was yelling about actual mistakes, but the yelling didn’t actually result in better performance. I tried talking to the players who were making the mistakes but they were just so stressed out they really couldn’t focus anymore.

  9. I am glad I have never had to deal with someone yelling on vent. I would not tolerate that any more than I would an employee of mine yelling at a subordinate in the workplace. Leaders that resort to yelling are showing their own incompetence. They should be ashamed. I would maybe give a raid leader an opportunity to calm down and appologize later. Maybe.


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