In some raiding guilds, gkicks are a lot more frequent and expected. Those kicks aren’t really difficult to do, as people know their performance is consistently being judged and analyzed, and if it doesn’t meet the officers’ expectations, they will be replaced. But what about the gkicks due to personality conflicts? What about the people who have been in the guild for a long time?
In my opinion, these are the hardest guild removals, especially since you don’t have hard facts and concrete evidence like you would with WMO parses and recount numbers if someone is being kicked solely based off raid performance. People might realize they’re playing horribly because it’s easier to compare themselves with others’ performance. However, few people ever realize they’re rubbing others the wrong way, have a bad attitude, and/or just don’t fit in with your guild, because there’s no real easy way to see these things without being an outsider. And since they don’t know, explaining said issues is always an unpleasant surprise for them.
Somebody’s Gotta Do It
I’m a pretty nice person. I make friends easily, and generally speaking, I’m the more approachable officer of our bunch. If a certain person is playing horribly or is acting sulky, I’m usually the officer that gets to have a nice, casual chat with him, because if anyone else did it, it would result in drama. I lead by friendship, and the unique relationships I have with my members are what make my leadership a success. But there are downsides to this as well.
I don’t like removing people from my guild. Blame my gender, blame my age, but I feel it’s the worst aspect of guild leadership. Unfortunately, someone has to do it, and that someone became me when I elected to help lead this guild. I have a tendency to always try to imagine how others might feel or perceive my actions, and I doubt being kicked from a guild is something anyone likes. Regardless of whether or not the individual’s actions have justified the guild removal -even if I dislike the person- I always have a heavy reluctance when it comes to asking someone to leave.
If I feel so strongly about kicking people I dislike, imagine my personal distaste for kicking friends. And, considering I lead by friendship, I’m good friends with most people in the guild. When I got into this position, I knew I would have to make many sacrifices in order to always put the guild first. But nothing weighs heavier on my heart than having to put on my “officer hat” and asking a friend to leave the guild. Nothing hurts more than knowing that friend feels betrayed, and regardless of how close we had been, I’ll never receive a friendly inquiry from him again.
I’ve been in this situation many times, and as much as I hate it, I will do the right thing every time it happens. Nobody likes removing people, especially friends, but it’s something you’re going to have to face if you want a stable guild. Leadership isn’t always what it seems from the outside. There’s a lot of dirty work you’ve got to have the stomach to handle. You won’t always be the glorious, fearless leader that represents your outstanding group. You will be seen as the bad guy more often than not, and if you can’t take that, this isn’t the job for you. In the end, it’s worth it for me. It’s the bigger picture you’ve got to look at, folks, and that bigger picture is what motivates me to keep on truckin’, even when I’m emotionally crushed from doing said dirty work.
The Bigger Picture
You have a guild to run. There are so many different roles you have to play, so many jobs you’re required perform. One of the biggest and most underperformed role is managing personalities. Everybody is different. Duh, that’s obvious. But what isn’t as obvious is that due to everyone’s differences, there will always, always, always be people that don’t mesh well with certain others. Sometimes it’s as easy as knowing the quickest way to happily quiet the loud, obnoxious guy in vent, which satisfies both him and the people he bothers. Sometimes, though, there’s no easy solution.
I had a recent situation in my guild where there wasn’t an easy solution. The individual was good friends with many people in the guild, including myself. But at the same time, he had twice as many people dislike him. I tried privately talking to him about the issues, but in the end, the only way to fix it would be for him to change himself. It got to the point where he was ruining people’s enjoyment of the game. They were reluctant to log on for raids, they avoided guild chat and vent when he was online, and they sat out of off-night activities when he was involved. I finally realized with an alarming clarity, that if I didn’t remove him, I would end up losing more than just him.
In this situation, you need to come to the realization that you want to have as few causalities as possible. It’s unpleasant removing a good player and friend to the guild, but keeping him/her at the cost of many more is not worth the price. You always need to look at the bigger picture and do what’s best for the guild, not the individual. Yes, his feelings might be hurt, and yes, you might lose his friendship. When you sign up to run a guild, though, you are officer first, friend second.
The Actual Kick
Once you’ve realized there’s a problem, it’s imperative you act swiftly. Don’t grow soft; your guild is depending on you. How you act is entirely dependent on you and the situation. Sometimes, the solution is as easy as a blunt talk to the person and some work on his/her end, and a kick isn’t required. But you need to fully assess the situation, considering different actions and the potential results of said actions. Take the route that is the least bumpy for your guild.
If you’ve decided to remove the person, consider how to approach him/her. Make sure all or most of your fellow officers are present and agree with your decision (hopefully, you all discuss such issues and decisions together!), to help present an official, united appearance and lend credibility to your reasoning. If you often use ventrilo as a guild, do it over vent in a private channel; it’s quicker, more personal, and more importantly, saves you the trouble of screenshots that reflect poorly on your guild posted at inopportune times.
Consider too the personality and attitude of the person, and be ready for any reaction. Everybody responds differently to the “gkick talk,” but nobody ever responds happily. Some people get sad and quiet, whispering a rushed, “Thank you, may I leave?” lest we find out they were crying the entire time. Some people get hurt and angry, and make demands and accusations regarding our capability of leading a guild. Nobody likes to be rejected, so try to be understanding and imagine how you’d feel in their position. If they get angry, yell, or insult, don’t fall prey to their bait. Keep it official, and if it gets nasty, wrap it up immediately.
The Day After Drama
It’s inevitable. Where there’s a kick, drama will soon follow. You need to make sure you smother this drama as quickly as possible, before it evolves into a nasty wildfire.
- If people ask why the person quit/was removed, put on your “officer hat.” Be as straightforward and unopinionated as possible, and give broad, open-ended answers.
- If the person posts on the forums about it, don’t respond. Instruct the guild to not respond. Don’t fall for troll bait.
- If the person starts whispering people to start trouble, advise people to ignore the pleas for attention.
- Under any circumstance, do not insult the person in front of others. Even if the person was disliked by everyone, it’s disrespectful and makes you look bad. Don’t be so petty.