Squad is most beautiful and fun when 9 total strangers pull together. Being part of that means creating a positive and focused atmosphere for your squad mates. These are concrete tips.
Squad leading social philosophy
I am by no means the best squad leader. But over the years I’ve developed this philosophy while squad leading.
1. Provide your squad with a positive atmosphere and experience
2. Communicate high expectations that your squad will work together and contribute to the team
These reinforce each other. The squad will gladly contribute if they feel valued. They feel valued when they have their contributions acknowledged. Below are concrete ways I try to implement every game. They’re accompanied with imperfect example videos. I try to communicate a positive attitude and high expectations. People will usually rise to the occasion when someone they trust expects highly of them.
Of course everyone has their own way of squad leading and each group is unique, so feel free to take what vibes with you or improve on it.
(I’m a recording noob and a lot of these clips accidentally only have my mic audio, but they hopefully illustrate the point clearly)
Welcome people by name when they join
“Welcome dickus maximus 132” “Welcome hobgoblin 95”
This communicates several things:
You care by making sure their presence is acknowledged.
You pay attention and care about where the squad is going.
You inspire confidence and set the tone from the start.
If they join in the middle of the game, take the time to acknowledge newcomers.
“Welcome strudelpoodle68, if you’d like we could use a medic. We’re spawning on the rally and going for the enemy hab on the attack marker”
Doing this welcomes and orients the new squad member. It also indirectly reinforces the objective to the whole squad.
Tell people your expectations
At the beginning of the round, set expectations you want them to follow. I only have two
1. “Keep a positive attitude and be respectful. Keep complaining to a minimum. You don’t have to be Mickey Mouse “ho ho!” But keep a good mind set and help each other.”
2. “Contribute to the team. You don’t have to follow my orders to the letter. But take initiative in what we’re trying to accomplish as a squad. If we’re attacking a point, try to spawn there. If we’re fighting armor, switch to anti tank. Rifles provide ammo to the LATs, call out bearing and enemy targets, update marks on the map for the team, delete old marks (with the FLT). Give help when needed. Have fun! ”
Whenever a bunch of new people have joined, I briefly repeat these two expectations.
Although they may be seen as rules, they really are just general principles of what I expect of my squad mates. People will accomplish more if you set high expectations for them. Communicate your belief in what they can accomplish through your actions and words.
Catch your squadmates doing something right
People respond well to positive reinforcement. In the video my marksman reported he was suppressing the enemy HAB. I acknowledge this and asked the squad to follow up by swarming it. Acknowledging what your squad mate does right not only makes them feel valued, but communicates to the rest of the squad that you value what they’re doing.
Keep talking to your squad
Even if you’re far from a squad mate, ask them what they see. It shows you care about what they have to say and their input. In this video I marked on the map what my squad mate was reporting, showing they’re contributing information to the team.
Call people by name
In a friendly and calm way, call people by name to accomplish a task. People pay more attention and feel more involved if something is directly expected of them by calling their name. More likely than not, they will rise to the occasion.
In this video a fellow squad mate called me by name to resupply the HAT. I immediately felt involved and felt like I was contributing to the team. Even when I made a mistake he kindly tried to redirect me and did not get angry, but simply kept trying to resupply the HAT together.
Communicate the plan. Repeat it.
Communicate the plan clearly and firmly to your squad. It inspires confidence that the squad is working to accomplish a goal. It builds unity that we are all working together. Given all the chaos of this game, people don’t always register everything the first time(myself included). Don’t be afraid to repeat the plan in different ways.
Thank people at the end
Before the match is about to end(got to get a feel for this), thank people by name. Squad leaders are nothing without the people who choose to follow them. The people who follow you contribute as much to your experience as you do to theirs. So throw a shout out for being great squad mates.
Ask how you’re doing
Some after thoughts. Squad leading is a hectic role, but whenever you have down time ask your squad mates how they’re doing. “How’s your day going?” “What’s something positive anyone did today”. Although it seems small, it helps create a sense of community and care. It gives people a chance to express themselves.
Listen and acknowledge people’s suggestions
Whenever possible genuinely listen to people’s suggestions. Afterwards, communicate that you’re listening “I hear you” “I see what you mean”. As a squad leader you might have to make a different decision. However, it’s important to show squad mates you care about their opinion and that they’re heard. “That’s a good suggestion and I see that. We’re going to do this for now though because I feel X. If we fail feel free to tell me I told you so”
Ask for suggestions
Ask squad mates for suggestions. “Where do you think we should put the rally?” “Anyone know a good place for a HAB?”. This makes them feel valued. It also haves them invested in the success of the squad. It also allows people to respect you more, since we respect those who make us feel valued.
Strategically this is good too, since it’s easy to overlook something as an SL. We don’t know everything.
A lot of what I do is learned from Teflon Bull. Thank you to him for showing me what a great experience squad can be with a little optimism.
Thank you Odessa and Agrippa for believing I could be a great SL.
Don177 with the tm for arguing with me all the time and being a consistent commander
Thank you Hadoc for letting me be a mentor and Squad Leader brother
A hundred more friends I’ve failed to mention(if you know me i’m talking about you!). Thank you everyone. It’s been a great 5 years.
This is it guys!! I am sure that you will love Squad How To Be A Good Squad Leader that we have shared with you. We are always open to discussion and suggestions from you. Just let us what you thought about the guide in the comment section.
Also, we would like to thank Kelotis. He is the one behind this wonderful guide.