A good friend of mine was putting together an Emalon PUG last night, and on a whim I decided to go along. It was my second ever PUG raid, the first being Archavon some time ago. To my surprise, the random people he brought in were mainly ok, it was a successful raid and so I may do this sort of thing more often.
I was very fortunate to acquire the T8 tanking hands (one of the better 10 man warrior tanking items), but as it happened this was not the high point of the evening. The thing that made me feel best of all was the whispered "nice tanking" comment from the raid leader after we killed Emalon. Now doubtless one could probably say all sorts of interesting things about not needing validation from others to feel good, but it is the simple truth that a small compliment after a good performance will go a long way with many people, me included.
It helps that last night I know I did a good job. The pull went well - I popped retaliation and shield wall, then charged. I hit challenging shout, and then the MT taunted the boss off me. By this stage I had a good amount of threat on each of the adds and thanks to shield wall I was not dead. I maneuvered the adds correctly, and picked up new adds when they spawned. I made sure that there were sunders on each of the adds so that when the boss supercharged one of them the melee dps and hunter could get cracking right away.
Nevertheless however, it was really good to know that someone was watching and appreciated it.
When I am raid leader, I always try to find something to praise. I especially try to praise something if I have previously criticised it - for example I have recently been saying here and in raids that dps should be higher, and we've subsequently had an improvement. Now this could be gear, but the increase is too great for that. I think it is simply that people are really paying attention to it and trying hard, so I single out when people are doing well and tell them. Similarly, our healing has been exceptionally good in raids recently. Since good healing is something you only really notice when you don't have it, I try to compliment the healers when I can because they are doing a good job that quite often is not particularly visible.
When involved in learning a new boss with the associated wipes, it also helps to try to focus on mini-objectives - healing through tantrum, or getting the boss down 10% in a ground phase, and so on. When people achieve these then definitely say so, and let them know they are getting there. It helps keep morale up and makes people feel appreciated.