Saturday, January 24, 2009

Incoming! BLU-82D The Drama Bomb!

Mynxee proposes Topic 2 in her ongoing discussion round table:

The Corp Drama Bomb

So I ask you, dear readers, to ponder the corp drama bomb. What IS the most common cause? Are drama bombs inevitable due to the nature of life in New Eden? Are there early warning signs? Are some corps more prone to drama bombs than others, and if so, why? Can corps avoid the drama bomb and if so, how? How can a corp best recover from a drama bomb? Have you experienced a drama bomb that blew up your corp and if so, what did you learn from that experience?

OK--the floor's open. Share your own thoughts, opinions, experiences, and ideas

Ah, yes! The dreaded, despised, demoralizing, but inevitable, drama bomb. Sustenance to forum trolls and laxative to the tightest 4th points of contact in the Universe! Nothing compares to the deliciousness of the well played drama bomb.

Having experienced my share of drama bombs during my tenure of leadership at Eve University, I'll share a few observations about leadership responses.

First of all, recognize that, just as in real life, interpersonal conflict is inevitable. No matter how tight your group, no matter how long you've know each other or how much you care for one another, at some point there will arise an issue that upsets the apple cart. Knowing that such conflict is coming, how are you planning on dealing with it? Having any kind of plan forces you to think ahead of time, rather than just reacting. Planning also lets you examine alternatives without the time crunch of crisis.

Secondly, unlike real life for most of us, EVE puts you in an environment where many of the people that you interact with don't share your same native language, idioms, culture and values. Slang terms for innocuous items in your culture (say a British slang term for cigarettes) may be inflammatory to someone from another country who hears or reads a comment out of context. Not to mention the inherent communication problems that arise when a native German speaker tries to translate his thoughts on the fly to English and pass them to a native Spanish speaker who is mentally going from English to Spanish. The EVE universe has so many built in opportunities to mis-communicate, it's crazy! You must communicate simply, clearly and as often as possible in order to defuse the drama bomb.

Thirdly, just as in real live, recognize that everyone's position, feelings, outlook and attitudes contains a kernel of truth. Trying to find as many of those kernels from the same species as possible in any contentious situation helps everyone to see things from the other persons point of view.

Finally, again mirroring real life, decisions made in anger and haste rarely turn out well for anyone involved. Particularly when dealing with forum posts, I invoke the One Hour Rule. I compose my response and save the draft. I come back to it an hour later and if it still seems reasonable, I post it. Sometimes, just taking a breath can turn a drama bomb into a drama hand grenade. Still unpleasant, to be sure, but less likely to take out the whole group.

tldr version:

- Have a plan
- Communicate
- Shut up & listen
- Anger & the 'enter' key rarely work well together


Manasi said...

Most succinctly said good sir and how right you are!

Vidia Misatia said...

I was in a smallish guild in the game that shall not be named...

There was 1 rule. "NO DRAMA". The penalty for breaking that rule... Insta-kick. Every one knew the rule in advance.

At a later time or date if they have cooled down and apologized for the incident they may be let back into the guild.

I guess this would be the equivalent of locking your crazy teenager outside for a while until they have cooled down.

This dosen't always work, so the member is just not allowed back in.

Those times where we all knew this was "the big kick" for a member, we would all put up in corp just before the kick... "Don't let the door hit you in the arse."

We did have a peaceful guild.

Ahnog said...

Good principles for rl as well.