Clan conflict is certainly never an easy (or pleasant!) thing to deal with. It is of course more prevalent in larger guilds, and even more so in guilds that form with other guilds under an alliance (as is being more and more commonly seen in MMORPGs).
These large organisations have the task of maintaining what essentially equates to a string of closely connected neurons, whereby any distortion in the chain will serve as a catalyst for the breakdown of the guild or community. Yet with both small and large guilds alike, there are always ways to help avoid conflicts, either before it occurs or before it can escalate into something more than it needs to be. Here are a few simple tips to avoiding conflict within your clan or guild:
- Keep a close watch on any rogue elements. We’re not suggesting you set up a 1984-esque totalitarian community, but a more innocuous operation whereby anybody that you know that has a tendency to cause grievances is carefully watched. It is fine for a guild to give a wide berth to somebody whose personality can risk causing friction, but it would be a mistake to let his or her behaviour go unchecked or unwatched. Even a bit of light hearted humour can quickly extinguish the early fires caused by a disruptive member.
- Keep a good cheer. Humour and light hearted approaches are not only useful for disquieting the tempers of an individual, but also for creating an atmosphere which is conducive to the peaceful running of a guild. Humour is of course the most apt example of this, but it is enough that you as a guild leader, or your officers, lead by example when it comes to conduct with other members. This is in terms of how to speak to one another, tone and mood, and being respectful. It can especially work well within competitive groups, wherein tempers are more likely to run high. Competing with each other does not necessarily mean you have to antagonise one another, and a few jokes will create a barrier between cutting remarks of competitive play and another player’s feelings.
- Know when enough is enough. Sometimes it is useful to imagine a guild like a workplace, and your clan websites, games and voice servers as your workspace. Humour and jokes are a great way to pass the time, even making remarks at another’s lacklustre performance. The problem with them, however, is that it can be hard to know when enough is enough. As either a guild leader or a guild member, it is your prerogative to have a good time, but it is your responsibility to not let that good time impede or impact upon the comfort of another member.
Of course, it is true that some guilds thrive and function from having an often conflictive and antagonistic environment. But in most cases, conflicts will only serve to disrupt gameplay and ultimately negatively affect your gaming experience together.
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