Friday, January 8, 2010

If an 8 year old can understand this..

Raiding. Hardcore raiding. It’s a strange creature. If you want top end gear you pretty much have to participate in it. And raids at that level require a degree of various different talents. You need to be a lot more than just a little competent in playing your toon. You need to have the ability to listen and digest the information given to you. You have to be able to focus. You need to be able to play without any other distractions.

Now, there are other things you have to be able to do, one of which is being able to take criticism and advice. You will get nowhere if you throw your teddy out the cot when someone makes a suggestion to you or happens to tell you that you are doing something wrong. The key with this one is using this particular skill alongside the listening skill. If you have done something wrong, then once you have listened how to do it right, that should be it. The same problem should not arise again. Unless of course the information supplied to you is incorrect.

This is where your raid leaders skills come in. If they are particularly unskilled in certain areas, they can still get the job done, but with what I consider less flair and less support from the raid force. You see, a raid will respond to a raid leader like they do to any leader. And leadership takes skill and talent. Yes a raid leader requires all the skill of a raid attendee, but also some more on top. Key of which in my eyes are communication skills.

The level of these communication skills is tempered by other factors. Is the person who normally has good communication skills someone who stresses out over tough situations? If so, they will do fine as a raid leader as long as everything is going to plan. Wipe a few times and you’ll see the type of person emerge that I am talking about. Those that lose it, or become agitated then transfer that emotion to others because of their lack of skills at people management. That’s when as a raid leader you begin to lose your audience. If your audience was a unit in the military, then yes you may well get the same responses when shouting them down as you would when explaining something politely and with manners. But for the most part raids are not made up from all military personnel and there is no better way of losing your raids attention, focus, interest and willingness to achieve.

You see, I have mentioned this before. Behaviour breeds behaviour. If you start getting wound up, stressed, irritated then these emotions will inevitably transfer to your raid force. I have been on the receiving end of this type of leadership. Both in game and in real life. I’m not one who throws my teddy out the cot or whines and complains. I try to take it on the chin and actually digest what I have been told when I am doing something wrong. Then try to put it right. But if I am on the receiving end of ‘attitude’, my response becomes one of indifference. I still try my hardest and alter what I was doing wrong, but I end up having a completely different outlook on what I am doing. I end up losing interest and passion for what I am doing. I simply start to not care about the result.

It’s a strange thing. I have been in a paramilitary organisation and there I had no problem whatsoever being hollered at, told I am useless, to pull my finger out, I’m the king of fail. Thing is in that situation, probably because the stakes are a lot higher (pretty much life and death every time) I buckle down, determined to do it right, focus with intensity, anything to get the required end result. But with a game it’s different. No one will die [do you not know the meaning of ‘wipe’?!? – Ed], no one will suffer a life changing injury or mental stress if it goes wrong. All that is lost is some time from your life. Yes, that may be annoying but we all waste time every day doing something or other. I sit and watch TV adverts when I could be making a cup of tea, or doing my taxes. Wasted time, we all have it.

So the stakes are a lot lower and that means to me that when someone who treats the raid as the be all and end all and transfers their angst on to you, I become all “OK, I’ll do it right, but I ain’t really bothered anymore”. Not to the Vicky Pollard extent. Like I said, my teddys do not come out the cot and I do not sit on my chair staring at the screen raving “Bovvered? Am ah bovvered? Look at mah face, bovvered?”. But I certainly become less interested in the outcome and usually start thinking about what else I could be doing.

Seems a shame just because an individual cannot mind their manners or deal with stress. The bigger shame is that in being like that you are losing out on the one thing that online gaming can give you that can be of real use in the real world. People skills. The ability to mix with others to come out of your shell and to communicate.  Effectively.

When I used to lead raids, I like to think that all of my raiders were happy chappies, who enjoyed my style of leadership. And the thing is, we were successful. Very. With the force we had we achieved a hell of a lot. And I never lost my cuddlies out of my sleeping arrangements. Not once. Maybe if any who read this that used to raid with me can confirm or deny this? I'd like to know how it was for you guys. Leave a comment by clicking on the 'Jibberjabbers' section below ;)

The world takes different strokes for different folks and it would be a crying shame if we were all alike. But there is a reason why being polite and having manners is so important in society. That’s because aside from the pleasantness and relaxing atmosphere it creates, it actually really works.

Something my 8 year old has cottoned on to already. I know when she’s being polite she usually wants something. Even if it’s only a nice polite conversation back. But in the main it’s usually a sweetie or chocolate. But she’s 8. And she understands it.

Be well.

[Disclaimer: Adurj would probably like to point out in the interest of not being conducive to creating further stress in his readers who may believe this post is about them, then they’ll get all arsey and react in an emotional way..that this post is definitely not about a specific person or situation. Yes he raided last night. No he didn’t mention to me if this post relates to that raid. I suspect it doesn’t though as he told me he had a lot of fun. But I do know he is a boring twat and thinks a fair amount about morals and manners etc. So it was probably just something on his mind. Probably. – Ed]

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