In the last entry, I spoke about things such as goals, and the effects of these goals on characters. I also took a look at the do’s and don’t s when you’re going for these goals. In this entry, I will be focussing on players in positions of power. Players that can alter things and can affect other players thoughts and feelings, aka The Officers.
There are a lot of things that we, as officers do. Firstly, we organise events and keep the RP on track. This in itself can be quite stressful and time consuming. We also maintain the website, and guild, and look after recruits. Trying to juggle all of this with real life duties is often a chore, and all we want to do is relax and enjoy. We see these things as necessities and they must be done in order to make the guild a better place for you. So, you can imagine how we feel when players don’t attempt, or don’t want to join in with us and make some sort of effort.
Before now, I had always thought that it was the players that were at fault. After all, everyone is different, and not everyone wants to take part in things that don’t interest them. However, we can’t shift all of the blame onto players. We should always look at ourselves and try and progress. This often has a good effect on players because they see that we are willing to try new things.
We all know that players want to progress with their character. This is something that everyone wants to do, and they often welcome the chance to do so. Some players though, don’t quite know how to reach what they want. So how can we help them? Simple! Invest some time in them. Learn about them and their character, and by doing this, you’re able to give them some recommendations on how to go about getting what they want. The downfall of this? It’s time consuming. Time is something that we take for granted far too often. This is something that takes a long time to do, but by doing it, you understand all of your members and they respect you more for it. After all, you have given them your time.
Players often know what they want, and they know how they want it to happen. Unfortunately, a lot of players lack the confidence and drive that will help them reach their goal. What should we do about it? Give them opportunities. That’s all we can do. If a player doesn’t take an opportunity, then that’s fine, however we need to understand that a lot of players feel that they won’t do very well, and are scared of failure. If this is the case, we should give them the push that they need and help them along the way. Even if it means missing a night or two of RP. Wouldn’t you feel better knowing that you helped someone? I know I would.
This ties in loosely with Opportunities, but a lot of players like to be involved with stories and don’t necessarily want a leading role. In this case, we should just continue with the story, and they will contribute where they feel confident in doing so. I like to call this, “The Learning Stage”. This is when players are learning about characters and are working towards engaging with others. The last thing we want to do, is push them into a position where they feel uncomfortable. I think the key is to talk with people. Talking gets things out in the open, and we can often learn a great deal about people just by talking with them.
It’s important that members have a connection with officers. Without some sort of connection, people feel cut off and left in the dark. Anxiety can often set in, and this is unhealthy for players, as well as us. We should be maintaining and developing connections with players so that we can learn more about them. By learning about players, we can tailor situations that are better for them, meaning that they feel happier. A happier player means more interaction and better RP, so let’s engage more.
During my studies, I learnt ways and techniques that help others achieve what they want, whilst maintaining what we want. One of these techniques is called “Transformation Leadership”. It’s quite in depth but I will simplify it so that we can use this in game.
Transformation Leadership is a theory that looks at the way we handle situations and people. By altering small things, it has been proved that people take better to change, or tasks that we assign. This theory is split into four sections.
More often than not, procedures are set and must be followed. A Transformation Leader will encourage people to break the monotony of these procedures by allowing people to be creative whilst maintaining procedures. Leaders also allow team members to try new things and encourage this.
Basically, what we should be doing, is allowing members to try new things. Even if our heads are saying no, give them the chance to be creative and give them a free reign. By this, I don’t mean let them kill anyone they want. But if they want your character to take part in their storyline, make the effort and welcome the opportunity to do so.
This is all about communication. It is felt that leaders should always have lines of communication with members. By having these lines, members don’t feel left out and feel as though they can talk to us whenever they want. This is important for us, because we are a big team. We wouldn’t survive without them, and chances are, they wouldn’t survive without us.
This isn’t so much a problem for us, because we have good lines of communication, whereby members can approach us whenever they want to. I do feel that members sometimes feel a little apprehensive about approaching us, so let’s try and be more available to our members.
Transformational Leaders generally have a clear goal set in their mind, that they want to reach. This goal is portrayed to members in a clear and concise way, and is often portrayed in such a way that members will change their own methods to meet ours.
This may sound a little manipulative, but if we apply this to a storyline, it begins to make more sense. We have a clear goal for a story, that we intend to meet. By being open and honest with players, we are more likely to reach the goal with ease, rather than having change parts of the story along the way. Don’t forget, it’s important to give members the chances to do what they want, but at the same time, keep the story on track. It is a fine line, that we should always try and stay on.
We are often seen as role models to others. Because we are seen like this, members will often try and follow our lead and emulate us. This is helpful to us because it becomes clear who wants to help and who doesn’t. By knowing this, we are able to help players meet their goals as well as maintaining some sort of order within the guild.
I know this is quite a lot to take in, but try and apply this method to yourselves. See what qualities you posses and what you could change so that others become happier. You should find that players will take to you more and that a better quality player will emerge.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me, or leave a comment!
Thank you for reading!