The Ah-Ha Experience in Peer-Mentoring Group Sessions

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Organization Development & Change (D.O.D.C.)


Organization Development

First Advisor

Steven Cady (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Jeanelle Sears (Other)

Third Advisor

Colleen Boff (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Sandra Spataro (Committee Member)


Mentoring is a powerful tool used in today's corporate, educational, and social settings. Peer-mentoring groups are a popular and rapidly growing form of mentoring today. Organized as self-directed groups of people who gather for a common purpose of growth and development, they usually meet in regularly scheduled sessions to support each other. These provide opportunities for learning and change, where participants can experience ah-ha moments during these sessions. These ah-ha experiences can be transformative moments for individuals. These groups show promising results but are still the least researched form of mentoring. Through qualitative techniques, ah-ha moments in peer-mentoring groups were examined and uncovered the following four themes: (1) the timing of ah-ha moments can happen during or after the peer-mentoring group session, (2) participants do not always remember what happened before the ah-ha moment, (3) ah-ha moments can occur through active and passive engagement, and (4) sentiments expressed during interviews started as negative and became positive during the session. These findings revealed new and unexpected discoveries and provided insight into how peer-mentoring groups can impact current practice and present opportunities for future research on how ha-ha moments can influence learning and growth.