Article Title

Emotional intelligence and the performing arts: Crossing disciplinary boundaries


Emotional Intelligence (EI) developed through the 1990s and into this century as a model of enquiry in psychology and management and has been applied extensively in the field of leadership training. This theory describes emotions as a form of information that can be utilised by leaders to help them make better decisions. This paper describes the development of an experiential training program that employed the Ability Model of EI (Salovey and Mayer, 1990,1997) combined with tools from the performing arts and drama therapy to create a workshop program. The aim of the workshops was to increase awareness of the role of emotions in working life, and provided interactive learning opportunities to engage with complicated emotional dilemmas arising from their leadership roles.

Relevant theoretical background from each discipline is presented followed by a description of the workshop development, paying particular attention to the challenges of cross-disciplinarity. The workshops were presented within an Academic Leadership Program at Edith Cowan University (ECU), and subsequently within the Leading Edge Program, School of Management, ECU. Both the initial workshops and their subsequent iterations are described. Survey results from the workshops describe the interest and challenges of the workshops for participants. A focus group at three months follow-up revealed that participants used the learning experience of the workshop to address and resolve specific leadership challenges in their role. The researchers describe their experience of collaborating and suggestions are made to address some of the challenges of developing cross disciplinary collaborations within academic settings.


Peer-reviewed, Emotional Intelligence, Performing Arts, Acting Methods, Drama Therapy, Role Play, Multi-Disciplinary Training, Staff Development Workshops (Academic Leadership), IPE Inter Professional Education

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