Don’t cross boundaries

This includes both physical and social boundaries and requires you to be both sensitive and appropriate.

  • Touching: Some guidelines for professional helping relationships are easily translated to the mentoring context, such as prohibitions against sexual relationships and placing primacy on the needs and safety of the child.[2] Yet, the boundaries surrounding mentoring relationships are far murkier. Mentors fill a niche that lies somewhere between professional and kinship, and are thus afforded greater latitude in what constitutes appropriate boundaries. It is best to err on the side of caution when it comes to touching, as there are many ways to show affection and closeness that do not involve physical contact or even benignly crossed boundaries.
  • Avoid multiple roles. As a mentor, you should avoid entering into a personal, professional, financial, or other relationship with their protégés (and family members) if such a relationship might interfere with your objectivity or ability to work effectively as a mentor, or might harm or exploit the protégé.