Cultivating an Emotional Intelligence Community of Practice in New Zealand

Lesley Gill, Otago Polytechnic
Phil Ramsey, Massey University
Sarah Leberman, Massey University

Abstract: Academics, consultants, and training practitioners are often involved in delivering emotional intelligence (EI) training programmes directed at the growth of their learners. This paper focuses on the perspectives of EI trainers who work in isolation from independent consultants or training practitioners in other organisations. In a small country like New Zealand, it could be advantageous for these trainers to connect, share ideas and collaborate within a community of practice. This research interviewed 21 New Zealand EI trainers which revealed that they had experienced isolation and fragmentation within the EI practitioner community. To explore how this deficit could be addressed, the authors organised an EI trainers symposium aimed at bringing the community of practitioners together. This paper presents the process that was used for: (1) finding the lack of connectivity; (2) organising and producing an EI symposium; and (3) evaluating the contribution that the symposium made towards building a community of practice. The study finds that EI trainers are interested in belonging to a community of practice and that symposia are a useful method for assimilating established principles of communities of practices; of domain, community, practice and aliveness.