Emotional Intelligence and the Performing Arts: Crossing the Disciplinary Boundaries

Document Type

Journal Article


University of Melbourne


Education and Arts


Communications and Contemporary Arts




This article was originally published as: Rauker, R., Skinner, C., & Bett, R. (2009). Emotional Intelligence and the performing arts: crossing disciplinary boundaries. Arts Papers and Journal Articles, 24. Original available here


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.