Like all things in life, results are a combination of nature and nurture. Nature is the internal component of contribution, things that someone innately has. Nurture is the external influences and contributions. Every person that successfully becomes a new member of a guild does so because of their own internal (nature/natural) capabilities and the guidance and input (nurture) they receive from the guild. In this article I’m talking about the nurture side of helping new members/applicants succeed by way of giving them feedback.
Being constructive means that you are providing a description of behavior and actions. Constructive feedback is not criticism as it is not about the person; it is about the action. After receiving feedback, someone should feel motivated to improve, excited by trying to improve, and uplifted to have the energy to do what is necessary. Feedback must deliver on these or it won’t be successful. Don’t mistake constructive for being 100% positive.
Feedback must be honest. If someone is not delivering on an expectation, tell them. Avoid “sugar coating” and be real with people. Telling someone that something is OK/good when it is not sets an expectation that is going to make the next time you talk to them that much more difficult. Being 100% truthful with people can be difficult, especially when you care about them as a person and/or are sensitive to their feelings. Be a strong leader and don’t shy away from open, honest communication. People will respect you and appreciate the honesty.
Areas of Feedback
When I provide feedback to applicants in my guild, I break it down into the following areas.
- – Fight Mechanics: This covers the quintessential “standing in fire”. This effectively covers requirements of raid bosses and/or adapting to PvP situations.
- – Role Responsibilities: Specific to DPS, healing, and tanking, this covers an individual delivering on their role’s responsibilities within a raid.
- – Team Contribution: Including both their individual contributions to success and what they bring to the team as whole. From an individual perspective, this is their preparedness with understanding fight mechanics/strategy and being prepared for raid with repaired gear, consumables, and being on time for raid (or communicating via the specified ways as to their attendance).
- – Communication: I use this to discuss how they communicate in game informally/socially, in raid/BG/arena chat/ventrilo/mumble, and on the guild forums. This will also include base communication requires of their role like a tank communicating when they will be taunting or a healer communicating when they will be using a cooldown). In my guild we like to see activity on the forums from people primarily in terms of strategy discussion.
- – Team Fit: This is basically how well their personality is fitting into the overall personality of the guild. Someone fitting into a guild does not mean that they are exactly like everyone else in the guild, simply that they get along with everyone and everyone gets along with them. This is particularly noticable in small guilds; larger guilds this component will not be quite so noticable as people can easily blend in (which in and of itself is in fact their personality “fitting in” with the guild).
- – Overall: Simply a summary of everything. I use this as a way of highlighting positives and/or negatives that do not necessarily fit into the items above.
Frequency of Feedback
I like to provide feedback after someone’s first full week with the guild and involvement in weekly activities. From there, it depends on the individual. Some persons I have provided updated feedback each week. These tend to be for persons who are not meeting performance expectations of the guild in terms of playing mechanics and fulfilling their role responsibilities. Other persons I haven’t provided follow up feedback until the end of their applicant review period. These are people who generally meet our level of expectations from the start and continue to do so.