Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Guild Drama: A Treatment Plan

Over the past few weeks, I've had the opportunity to contemplate the structure, dynamics and success of certain guilds...which, of course, leads to the question "What makes a guild successful?" It seems to be inevitable that guilds have drama - there is no way around it. However, a guild is marked by how it addresses and deals with the drama. Drama intervention, by necessity, occurs on multiple levels - GMs, officers and even guild members are crucial in dealing with the situation.

There are, also, different types of drama, and each must be dealt with accordingly.

"Bad Day" Drama: Sort of self-explanatory - someone has a bad day and simply is easily stirred up, etc. I find the best way to handle this is a combination of patience and talking with the person privately - allow the person to vent to you in private will often diffuse the situation. Also, trying to create a lighthearted situation in the raid can assist in calming folks.

"Sensitivity" Drama: Some folks are sensitive to just certain subjects/words or whatever. This is one of the more difficult types of drama to deal with, requiring careful treatment, understanding, and a lot of patience. At times the "sensitivity" relates to specific situations or words. When dealing with Sensitivity Drama, the key is to identify what has triggered the sensitivity. Until you are able to identify the cause, it's nearly impossible to know how to begin dealing with it. Again, the key is to spend some time (preferably in private) talking with the person, encouraging them, mediating, etc. Often, the key to diffusing a situation is showing the person that someone does care.

"Drama Queen/Troll" Drama: If a guild member is prone to repeated disruptions of this sort, the easiest (and perhaps the wisest) course of action is /gkick. The motivation behind this sort of behavior is generally singularly to gain attention through the disruption of normal guild operations. Troll drama is designed to change the topic of discussion from your normal focus/topics to whatever the troll has put forth. The Troll-style drama spreads rapidly through the ranks, as it is generally designed to do. The repercussions can be devastating - often it ends with multiple guildies upset, angry, frustrated, disatisfied, ultimately causing a mass exodus (whether en masse or a steady trickling of departures). While most of the other forms of drama are easily dealt with (and worth the effort to correct), troll drama should be ended the moment it begins before any damage can be done - which general means /gkick. Hand-in-hand with this, however, is the importance of training your guildmates how to react when this sort of thing does (hopefully rarely) occur. The best course of action is NO reaction...do not provide the troll what he most desires - attention.

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