4/29/2013

Four Personalities That Hurt Guilds (And How to Fix Them!)

This post will present four personality types that generally wreak havoc on a gaming guilds, along with a starting point for fixing problem members. Some members may fit into multiple personality types, so treat each person as an individual and give special attention towards their wants and  desires versus guild goals. In the end, the guild needs to win, not the individual.

The Motivated Ghost

Key phrase to listen for:
I haven’t seen <insert name here> since joining, where did they go?

Qualities:
  • Gives good ideas but isn’t around to, or doesn’t want to implement them
  • Excited when joining the guild, but doesn’t participate in guild activities
Why they are a problem: Motivated ghosts are generally great people, but when push comes to shove they are taking up space in the guild – space that could be supported by people who actually participate.

The fix: Encourage motivated ghosts to participate in guild activities and give them chances to excel. Often it just takes a little nudge to motivate these people. If they still do not participate, gently show them the door with the advice they find a guild more suited to their participation goals.

The Dictator

Key phrase to listen for:
You are going to do things my way, or you’ll be kicked out of the guild (removed from the group, etc.).

Qualities:
  • Often raises voice to get point across
  • Uses threats and ultimatums
  • Unwilling to listen or consider other points of view
  • Resorts to personal attacks when directions aren’t implemented
Why they are a problem: Dictators range from leaders to members. Anyone who shows these qualities shows a key inability to listen to others, and can’t reason through an argument without resulting towards a defensive tone. This brings down the general morale of membership because they eventually succumb to the dictator and lead an unhappy life as a guild member, or leave the guild entirely.

The fix: Dictators are best dealt with in a one-on-one setting, rather than with a group to avoid the feeling of being “piled on.” Explain to the dictator that their demeanor is a detriment to the guild, and they need to “listen first, talk second.” If a dictator is unwilling to change, it is best this personality type is removed from the guild entirely. If this is a guild leader, it is best for players to avoid the guild.

The Ego Monster

Key phrase to listen for:
This guild wouldn't be anything without me.

Qualities:
  • Attempts to change discussions into arguments
  • Uses threats and ultimatums
  • Requires that others consider their point of view
  • Discussions revolve around unhappiness with guild
Why they are a problem: Ego Monsters are one of the drama-creators guilds fail to resolve because they are often very charismatic and loved by the general guild population, while despised by leadership. Guilds are inherently a collaborative environment, and a person who consistently puts their needs and desires above the rest of the guild, bogs down that environment. Their rhetoric is consistently aimed towards changing a guild to fit personal desires, not for the betterment of the guild as a whole. Ego Monsters see the guild as a piece of their equipment, not as something they take part in.

The fix: Ego Monsters need to be brought down to Earth. No guild requires an Ego Monster to survive or flourish. They are best dealt with by a neutral negotiator (ideally someone good at conflict resolution) with both sides present in the discussion. The negotiator needs to be able to address both sides of an issue objectively and without bias, which will make the Ego Monster more comfortable and less defensive. Negotiations give the Ego Monster a sense that the guild wants to keep them, which isn’t always the case, and the point must be made that lack of resolution is not an option.

Along with “listen first, talk second” the Ego Monster needs to be able to understand guilds are about many people, from many backgrounds, all working towards common goals, with a collective desire to be part of something bigger than themselves. If an Ego Monster will not change and is a continuing problem, removal is the final option and should be done swiftly (see The Disintegrator below).

The Disintegrator

Key phrase to listen for:
I’m going to destroy/bring down this guild.

Qualities:
  • Subversive in attempts to undermine guild leadership
  • Attempts to change discussions into arguments
  • Discussions revolve around unhappiness with guild
  • Maliciously attacks guild through media
  • Refuses to interact with guild leadership
Why they are a problem: This personality is attempting to destroy a guild by any means possible. They are often very subversive in attempts to do so and can be hard to weed out. If mixed as an Ego Monster, they are much more apparent.

The fix: Immediate removal. This personality’s goal is simple, and the best fix is to remove their ability to  attack the guild on the guild’s turf (normally a forum or voice chat). Once removed, they may continue to  attack from other venues, but these attacks usually backfire because the larger community sees someone complaining. Once removed, ignore further attacks and attempts to “troll” guild members.

Conclusion

Did you find yourself falling into one or more of these categories? If you do, then perhaps it is time you  reevaluate what it is you want out of gaming. Is it a hobby, or is it a means to justify an ego? A little secret -  gaming is meant to be fun. It is OK to be motivated, and to be competitive. But it is not OK to ruin gaming for others, and to put self-interest above the goals of a guild. They should be complementary, and gamers who truly enjoy their experience with others have realized fun comes with a sense of community, and social interaction.

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