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12-28-2009 @ 1:44PM
Excellent article, but #9 is a very dicey and slippery point. Even if you tell the GL that you disagree and that you're going to solicit additional opinions, you look like a trouble-maker. You have come to me. I have listened to you. You've done all your homework, maybe gauged guild sentiment for your change. You've asked. I've said, "No. I think the rule/policy works for these reasons". Now you're telling me that you don't like my decision and you're taking it to the guild. Your normally spot on advice, Scott, sinks here. I have listened to a lot of proposals from wacky to wonderful in 2 years as a GL. Some people have done all these steps. Some people have come to me after a raid went awry and issued some knee-jerk suggestions. I have listened to all of them. I have considered all of them. A few have been very good and we've made changes. Most suggestions come from people who don't know the inner workings of the guild. When you explain why you can't or won't change something, most people accept that or they leave. The few who did not accept the "No" and tried to get people on their side, ultimately left in anger or caused drama when asking others for how they feel. And that's exactly what will happen if guild members don't accept the "No" and openly tell their GL they are going to approach membership. Now, there is a caveat here. You should not blindly accept a guild leader on a power trip. You know, as a member, who they are. If the GL comes back to your suggestion with "Because I said so", you've got more issues than whether you should be allowed to swear in raid chat. But I feel that if you've come to me on a change with reasoned points, I've given you my undivided time to discuss the change, I think about it (because I never make a change on hearing it for the first time. I do think about any proposed changes.) and I decide it's not what's in the guild's best interest at this time and I explain to you why, going around my decision to solicit the ideas of the officers and members brands you as a malcontent. You will stir up far more drama than warranted and probably get yourself kicked or told to leave. I would recommend #9 be dropped from the list and replaced with "Listen to what your GL says about your change. If they say it's not something they want to do and you don't understand why, ask. Just as he or she is listening to you, you have to listen to them. There may be reasons they simply cannot divulge for why a rule or policy is in place. They may feel that, even with your help, the change is unworkable. Maybe it's not the right time. Set the change aside for a month or two. Play the game. If, for you, the current rule or policy still doesn't work, ask someone else how they feel about it. Maybe it doesn't bother the majority of the guild and or they like the guild so much, they don't really care if it's ever changed and have adapted to it. You must be very, very careful in soliciting other opinions because you can be seen as being a malcontent and kicked. You may think you're being discreet or above board and just soliciting opinions. Chances are your questioning will get back to the GL and he or she will not see someone gathering opinions. Rather, they will see someone who wants to change their guild. This never goes well." One thing I will add is that if someone comes to me with an idea for a change in a rule or policy and they have done some homework on it, they are given more of my time because this shows me they care about the guild. What they are proposing may not be workable, but they have at least been thinking about ways to make the guild experience better. That is a valuable guild member.
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