I was reading this post from Navi earlier, and it struck a chord with me. I struggle with this a lot. I run the normal raid in my guild, and one night is an open, everyone can come night if you meet my minimum requirements. And thank goodness for guildies who don't mind doing a bit of carrying. We take everyone, and some of the people would like to come on the slightly stricter, I need you to kinda know your shit nights but they just aren't quite there.
Our guild doesn't really have the best environment for asking for advice and getting help improving. Individually, I can approach several people with questions about their class and get helpful advice, but these people don't offer it up. And we don't encourage people to seek it out. I haven't ever been in a place that just offers up help. Even here, at vet school where most of the people love teaching, you have to go to them. And that's tough for a lot of people- especially if you view WoW as a game, something for fun, but not something to work at. I could easily turn WoW into a full time job trying to coax and coach people. Of course, what I want and what's actually best may not be the same thing.
And I know I'm part of the problem. I am supposed to be policing the group a little better, as far as who can come and who can't, and I'm not. I don't know how to tell someone they need help. I worry that I'm upsetting people. For example, we had a guildie who used to come all the time, on many alts, going as far back as coming to flex runs with me in my last guild. And one day, I told him he was welcome to bring whoever he wanted to the open night, but he needed a little more work on that particular toon before coming to the slightly stricter night (I have a hard time calling it "closed" because it really isn't). And they pretty much stopped coming. They come along later in the night, if one of their friends asks, and they're great and bring their main and help when we're struggling. And when I think about them not coming now, I feel bad. I have no idea if they don't come for personal reasons, too many raid nights, or if it is what I said. I do tend to be self-centered and think I'm the cause of everything though. I do think they talked to another player, and improved their skills with that class- but they have not brought that toon, or any other alt, to my raids. I don't know if it was since then, or if it tapered off. I didn't notice it until some weeks later. But that makes me worry about telling people I need them to improve for the harder bosses.
I have managed with some people who clearly need the work, telling them they can't come on the second night unless they improve, and offer to help. That is with classes I know a lot about (so, basically resto and feral druids). I get prickly if someone who doesn't play my class or role tells me what to do- oh if people could've heard me the day the tank tried to tell me how to heal. Or seen the look on my face. Cause, really dude? REALLY? Yeah, you better just stop there.
I may be a tad sensitive about some things...
I need a lot of improvement myself. Mostly with communicating. Rather than ask healers to call out CDs, I found an addon to track all the things. ALL OF THEM. Which, super helpful as raid leader- I know who rezzed whom in combat, and the timer left, no matter what the toon. Can track all the ring CDs and who popped it, plus all the big CDs and if I cared to several of the minor ones. Awesomely helpful addon. Does not foster communication beyond knowing who's tranq is off CD for me to call out (often unnecessarily because my healers are usually on the ball!)
Anyways- how to foster a helpful atmosphere. Once upon a time, in a land far away, we thought about having an open vent night for questions and things... Not sure that'd work. Our vent is not very active outside of raids (another issues, but not one to be addressed here). And inside raids, I think I've pushed the "don't talk during boss fights please" hard enough that some people just don't talk. There are several "borderline" people as well- mostly ok, need some work but I don't know what and I don't have the time to dig through logs and find out.
I think I am going to have to take the time, to at least sort out the ones who need mechanics work, DPS rotation work, and a few need some behavior work. I've had, not really complaints, but comments about how annoying so-and-so is, and I don't know how to address that.
I'll set a few goals here:
I know at least 2 people I need to talk to right off the bat. I will do that.
-Look through logs, pick out those borderline people
-Decide if they need to be talked to
-Talk to the tanks and tank alternatives about swapping roles around, because that needs to be fixed.
Before I actually talk to people:
-pick one thing to talk to them about
-try to work in something good they do
-give them one thing to work on, and a way to work on it
Ok, those are the tentative goals for this raid. Let's see if I get to them by Saturday.