How to be a better mentor,
Geralt of Rivia style
Geralt of Rivia, aka The Witcher, is the protagonist of a fictional world inspired and written by Andrzej Sapkowski. His book was made into a video game, and more recently it became a popular tv-series.
While I was binge-watching the newest episodes, I realized what a great mentor Geralt has been for Ciri, a princess that he has sworn to protect (for reasons I am not going to spoil to those living in a cave and haven’t watched the show yet).
Here are some tips about mentoring inspired by the Witcher:
- Be great at what you do. Geralt has mastered the Witcher-ing arts, traveled the world, and has vast experience in slaying monsters. Ciri admires and respects him so much that she would risk her life to become a Witcher like him.
- Set boundaries. Even though the girl mentions how much of a father figure Geralt is to her, he never allows emotions to blur his judgement. On the other hand, when the young prodigy starts her melee training, she doesn’t know when to stop. The wise Witcher once again is there to mark the stop line and explain that Cintra was not built in one day (see what I did there?).
- Understand what’s best for your mentee. Even though Ciri is thrilled to become a Witcher, Geralt knows she is gifted in other areas as well. When it comes to magic though he knows he is not an expert. What does the mighty Witcher do? He introduces Ciri to Tris, a higher-class Mage, to help her reach her magical potential. The fact that Tris fails to teach her is a whole other story about charismatic teachers.
- Take your time and “hmmm…”: When Geralt needs time to process new information, he doesn’t jump to conclusions. Instead, he takes his time to think, often hiding his shock of what Ciri has said in order not stress her or tell her more than she can handle.
All the above could work in many settings other than mentoring now that I think about it…
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