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The Importance of Setting Boundaries with Your Mentor

In a mentorship, having clear boundaries — along with responses to share when those limits are transgressed — is important for safeguarding your mental health, your privacy, and your productivity. To establish them, have a conversation with your mentor, preferably at the start of the relationship. You can start by flipping the script and asking your mentor about their boundaries first: “Since this is all new, though, I wanted to ask: What boundaries do you want to have around our mentoring relationship?” Listen to their answers, taking the opportunity to weigh in about your own boundaries as they share. If your mentor says, “I really like to keep the details about my personal life out of work,” you can weigh in, “Okay, that’s good to know. I’m an open book, so I don’t mind sharing if you have questions.”

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