I’ve been raiding for awhile, and I recently decided that I want to lead my own raid group. What do I need to do to be a good leader and build a successful team? Is it even possible to do at this point in the game?
Hungry for Success
DEAR HUNGRY FOR SUCCESS:
Last week, I addressed how to find a new raid group and I promised I would address the leader role this week. All of those tricks still apply, so check that out if you haven’t already. But joining a raid group and leading one have a few key differences that must be addressed early in order to be a successful and respected leader.
ESTABLISH EXPECTATIONS EARLY
As I mentioned last week, you should go into raid knowing exactly what you want out of it. This is especially important as a leader, and you should strive to communicate that to each person you try out as a member. When I hosted tryouts for the Magnificent Moogles (my wonderful mid-core raid group), I brought every person into Discord and explained exactly what I wanted from them, what they could expect from me, and how the group was going to be run. I made sure right from the get-go that everyone was on the same page, both for progression, and to build a stronger team. This is an extremely important step. If you’re uncomfortable talking to people in this way, then write down your goals, or a small speech, it’ll make it easier. Trust me, it’s worth it in the long run and can save you a lot of future heartache.
BE PATIENT AND FLEXIBLE
This applies to starting raid and during progression. Creating a raid group is not easy. Some would argue that’s the hardest part. It could take weeks, or even months, to find the right group of people with the right mindset, similar goals, specific schedules, and comparable abilities. Unless you have a wonderful FC with a lot of interested raiders, you’ll probably spend hours in Party Finder or on recruitment websites before you’ll hear back. Persistence is key.
Patience also means waiting for the right people. It’s extremely tempting after waiting for a while to accept the first person that walks through the door. But if they’re not accepting of your expectations, or their ability doesn’t seem to match the type of raid you want (such as casual versus hardcore) explain that, and look for someone else. It’s better to find the right person than rush and regret it later.
This patience also extends into the actual raid. The group will not be perfect right out of the gate. There will be some learning pains, even for the best of players. Your progress may not be perfect, and it might be slow initially. Assuming that everyone is focused and trying their best, you will make the progression you want.
BE APPROACHABLE (EVEN IF THE NEWS IS NOT SO GREAT)
Your group needs to know that they can come to you for anything, whether relating to the game, or to real life. As a leader, it’s important to keep that line of communication wide open both for trust and for comfort. I tell all of my raiders that if they have any issues at all to come to me first so we can figure it out together. This may mean listening. This may mean encouraging them to talk to the rest of the group. Regardless, it’s important to open that line of communication as early as possible.
BE WILLING TO MAKE THE HARD CHOICES
This is one of the hardest things to admit, but one of the most important. If someone is not working out, for whatever reason, talk to them. If they are unwilling to make changes (or unable to) then begin looking for a replacement. Successful raiding groups require everyone to be at their best. This could be for a variety of reasons; maybe your tank is always 20 minutes late, maybe your healer gets distracted easily and doesn’t seem to learn mechanics after weeks and weeks of doing it, maybe your DPS isn’t taking it as seriously as everyone else, etc. No matter the issue, if raiding needs are not being met, they must be addressed. Just be mature about it. As I said last week: don’t burn any bridges, unless absolutely necessarily.
All and all, leading a raid group requires a high level of patience, dedication, flexibility and willingness to learn as you go along. It will take some time to become a good leader and to find a solid group. Things may not always work out the first time. Don’t let any of that get you down, and you’ll be leading a successful raid group in no time.