Who's going to direct this pack of wolves now??
There was a TED talk by Margaret Heffernan, "Why it's time to forget the pecking order at work". It was the talking about chickens that fascinated me.
An evolutionary biologist wanted to study productivity so he studied groups of chickens (because productivity could be measured in egg production). In one group, he just put 6 ordinary chickens and left them alone for 6 generations. In the other group he chose 6 of the most productive chickens (superchickens!) and in each generation he only selected the most productive egg layers to breed.
What he found after those 6 generations was interesting.
The first group were doing well, healthy and egg production was good. The second group, or the superchicken group, was very different. 3 of the chickens were dead because they'd been pecked to death. Those superchickens had only achieved their success by suppressing the productivity of the other chickens.
It turns out that social connectiveness helps make a successful team.
A group at MIT studied this, putting volunteers into groups and giving them hard problems to solve, and the teams that were the most successful were NOT the ones with the highest IQ or had people in them who had the highest IQ. The most successful teams demonstrated three characteristics. The first one was high degrees of social sensitivity to one another. The second, was that they gave equal time to one another so that no one voice dominated. And thirdly, they had more women in them. I think part of the third component is that women (as an overgeneralisation) do better in terms of social sensitivity.
I do feel that when we had some super competitive raiders within our team that the team in general did poorly. They were like superchickens, pecking at the not-so-super members until they broke. There is no doubt that tension within a raid team does not create a productive environment.
One thing I like about our healers is that they tend to function as a unit than with individual heroes. For example, Kaillynn has never been a strong healer, but we helped her as much as we could, giving her advice on how to be better, always including her when possible, but still letting her know her limitations (H Blackhand, for example). She has taken it all on board with grace and determination, and when she made her transition over to priest for the new tier because she felt she wasn't contributing, she has made a marked improvement. Her healing is much better, even though she is 10 item levels behind the rest of us. Rag has always been a really strong healer, but he never throws the "I'm carrying the rest of you guys" line because we have always managed when he ISN'T there. Yuuda has also never had the attitude of an arrogant mythic raider, and knows that healer output depends a lot on what other healers are out there and the roles they play. People comment to me sometimes about low healer output for certain people at certain times, but each healer plays a part in the healing, with cooldowns that need to be used at certain times that save the raid, not the actual numbers that they produce. I make a note of those things, yes, but raw healer numbers mean nothing when people are still dying from lack of heals. We don't peck each other in the healer group, and hopefully that will improve healer longevity and productivity. Interestingly there are lots of females in that group.
The DPS are not quite as socially sensitive as the healers and often
At present our two tanks are quite communicative and similar playstyles. That works well for them as they function more as a team and less as individual
|Leeroy Jenkins Chicken by Scott Derby|
To paraphrase Margaret Heffernan: We need to redefine leadership and teamwork as an activity in which conditions are created whereby everyone can do their most courageous thinking together. Problems won't be solved if we expect it to be solved by a few superchickens. You need everyone, because when you accept that everyone has value that will inspire the momentum from the team to get the best out of each and every member.
And I hope that we can try to do that in our guild. I'm sure as hell going to try!