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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Jun 15 2008 2:17pm
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So do you think your team is good, maybe even great? One may measure success by obvious things such as event statistics, Top 8 appearances, wins or losses, team membership or successful recruiting of the games' top players. One may also say team synergy is the most important. Another may say that team integrity is the most important. Even another may say how the team interacts with one another is most important. No matter what you think is key to a successful team, for me, one of the most important things is to understand the Team inside the Team.
So what does that mean, the team inside the team?
Steve O'Connell describes six basic steps in his article, 'Anatomy of a Vintage Team.' I will summarize these steps below.
1. The Good Player - not involved very much in tweaking and creating decks but when he plays, the environment feels it.

2. The Creators - starters of threads for new deck ideas which the team uses as a starting point for testing.

3. The Tweakers - takes existing ideas, works on the weak spots and makes good metagame calls with the sideboard.

4. The Leaders - someone to help with inter-team conflicts, policy questions of revealing secret deck ideas and new recruitment.

5. The Face - brings your name to the forefront by posting reports or articles and flaunting your name as to give you superiority.

6. Ethics - You should also have ethics, inter-team collaboration and a tad bit of testosterone for that rival team to deal with!
All six of these things are crucial to your teams' success, but it still doesn't define the team inside the team. So have I dragged out the suspense long enough? Wait for it...
I am talking about personality traits among team members. Now before you turn a deaf ear to the rest of the article, please just hear me out.
There are four basic personality traits which define who a person is and how they usually act. Understanding these four traits has helped me have a successful career as a Business Manager. They have also helped improve my communications with my friends, my family, my kids and more importantly, my wife. No matter how good you think your team is; successful communication will always make it better. If you understand your team members' personalities, it can enhance every part of your team, from deck listing, card selection, metagaming and most importantly, deck testing. Below I will describe each trait to help us better understand these categories.
Dominance - Being in a position of power, authority or ascendancy over others. The state of being dominant; of prime importance; supremacy.
Patience - is the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.
Conformity - Similarity in form or character, agreement. Action or behavior in correspondence with socially accepted standards, conventions, rules or laws.
Extroversion - the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self. Extraversion-Introversion is a central dimension of human personality. Extraverts (sometimes called “extroverts”) are gregarious, assertive, and generally seek out excitement.
Let's dissect the 5 members of a team described in Steve O'Connells' article. This might be generalizing a little bit as the data would be astronomical when trying to sum up the entire human race. I think, however, you will find most of my generalizations to be fairly accurate.
I. The Good Player - So we know this type of player isn't very involved in tweaking and creating decks. From this it can be concluded their High trait is most likely conformity. They are driven for ultimate perfection. They aren't much of a risk taker, which means their low trait is probably extroversion. So why is this important?

A. He/she is truly the ultimate perfectionist. If you want help testing a deck this player is running, then this is the one you need to test with.

B. If you need help with someone watching your possible misplays or guiding you through the decks' synergy, this is the one you want assistance from.

C. They will bring your play ability to the next level. Be prepared however, as the conformist is usually detail oriented. If you aren't into details then this player should be avoided most of the time for your testing purposes.

D. Also, they are usually a good resource for what cards are available in the card pool due to their detail oriented motivations.

A. In my opinion, the Good player isn't the guy you want to test your latest deck idea with. He doesn't like change, so most likely he will not agree or even understand what it is you're trying to accomplish.

B. Furthermore, he isn't the best guy to test with because of his lack of flexibility. The good player is truly good because he excels at perfecting 2-3 decks. If you want to Meta test, this usually isn't the guy.

C. Usually this player isn't Mr/Mrs personality. Conformists sometimes tend to be bland and can bore you with the details.
So how do you effectively communicate with a Good Player?

A. Show interest in his/her current deck choice.

B. Be careful when interrupting as it can annoy this type of personality.

C. Stand firm during conversations and also remember this person loves rules and regulations. If you break them you are bound to lose his/her trust and/or respect.
II. The Creators - This type of player is the one who starts new deck ideas for the team. Because of this, one can assume this type of player is most likely an Extrovert. They are a huge risk taker and probably fail at deck ideas more than they succeed. They love the satisfaction of a great decklist.

A. Innovators for the team and not afraid of failure.

B. Great to test your own rogue deck ideas as they will welcome the risk gladly.

C. Fun to be around, outgoing people who usually are the life of the party. They keep the team smiling and laughing.

A. They get bored easily with ideas and will often abandon future successes just in order to move onto the next idea.

B. Their outgoing personality can usually cause a problem in recruiting as they tend to attract many different types of players with their charisma. This group is often referred to as the Salesman personality.

C. Their testing will be short lived and because of their short attention span, it will be difficult for you to get in serious testing with the many different types of metagame decks.
So how do you effectively communicate with The Creators?

A. You must be quick and to the point due to their short attention span.

B. Extroverts respond well to indirect and persuasive communication.

C. You must be enthusiastic and remember Extroverts like to be the center of attention.
III. The Tweakers - This player takes existing ideas and works on the weak spots. They also make good metagame calls with the sideboard. It is my opinion that this player most likely has a high trait of Patience with Conformity scoring very close.

A. Unlike the extrovert who abandons ideas quickly, this person is patience enough to see an idea through to the end.

B. They do a lot of research in order to make good metagame calls; therefore this person is a great reference for deck selection.

C. Usually will make an idea work instead of passing it off as another failed attempt.

A. Not much of an innovator.

B. Patience is sometimes a downfall as their voice is often silenced.

C. Tough to communicate with them as they tend to be very reserved and don't feel comfortable with a lot of attention.
So how do you effectively communicate with The Tweakers?

A. Usually their lowest trait is dominance, so allow them to have a voice, don't overpower them during conversations.

B. Just like the Good player, this person is into rules and regulations. Make sure you don't deviate from the plan or you may lose trust and respect. The main difference is this player would rather avoid you than be vocal about their disappointments.

C. Always maintain the utmost integrity.
IV. The Leaders - This type of player is at the forefront. They make great team decisions and the team looks up to them in their leadership role usually. This type of person is almost always dominant. Most leaders will have their highest trait as dominance and their second highest as conformity.

A. They help move the team along when things need to get done.

B. Solves interclan and outerclan issues.

C. Usually very diverse in their game play and their personality. Tend to be very good players and great test partners.

A. Can be difficult to communicate at times because they tend to beat their opinions down your throat.

B. Doesn't handle opposition very well that wasn't their idea.

C. Sometimes can be or appear to be very selfish.
So how do you effectively communicate with The Leaders?

A. You must flex your dominance trait and become equal or higher than their level of dominance.

B. Be persistent with your ideas; don't give up just because they were dismissed. Remember, this personality likes things to be 'Their idea' usually.

C. Be quick and to the point, most leaders have little patience and tend to want to get things done in order to move onto the next issue.
V. The Face - The name pretty much says it all. This person helps bring your clan to the forefront. This type of player is probably the most diverse when it comes to personality. They have to be extroverted in order to talk up your clan. They also must be conformist in order to maintain the proper information that is needed to bring attention to you. They also have a tendency to have decent dominance and patience.

A. They help give your clan a voice in the community.

B. Help relieve responsibility from the Leader.

C. Because of their diversity they usually are the glue the holds the team together. They get along with every type of personality and really are a joy to be around.

A. Tend to be an average player; usually they get a sense of belonging by being The Face.

B. Just like The Creators, because of their charisma, they can also attract less skilled players.

C. Because of the personality diversity, they can sometimes be a moody person.
So how do you effectively communicate with The Face?

A. Just be yourself, they can usually sense when you are trying to flex your personality to something you are not.

B. They love to talk and listen, make sure you maintain a healthy balance during your conversations.

C. They love being included in team decisions and feeling part of the team, make sure The Face also has a Voice.
I apologize for the length of the article, but it is nearly impossible to cover such a large part of who we are in such short words. I am not a psychologist, nor do I claim to be, but hopefully my opinions at least tweak your inner ear. I know some of you will disagree with my assessments, but remember before the flaming begins that each person is different, but our base personality trait will always remain true.
Remember the next time your wife, your kids, your friends or your family asks you a question, your response should be determined by their personality. Effective communication is the key to healthy relationships!
I wish you and your team many years of success.