At some point in the mentoring process, the mentor sees the problem at hand.
They realize what is holding back their mentee and what needs to be done before they move forward.
It’s akin to the clicking moment that many coaches experience when someone they are working with “gets it”, in this case, it’s the mentor that has realized what the problem is.
The dilemma, in this case, is a back and forth conversation that happens in the mentor’s head as to whether the mentee can handle hearing what the problem is and what they need to do to solve it (because often times it’s not what the mentee thought it was).
These dilemmas can be dealbreakers, either the Mentee will agree and move forward OR they will disagree and the relationship will forever be fractured because the problem is out there and both know it, but nothing is being done about it.
Weak mentors live in the dilemma, they continue the engagement because some process is better than no progress but the good mentors, the scary good ones, they don’t flinch when the dilemma is realized, they put it out there and move forward – either with the mentee or without them.