Sara and I have been creating and researching The Leadership Designs for two years now. When she came to me with some of her work in leadership, I immediately went to our childhoods, and how we relate to others, and how this affects how we relate to folks now in our business. Our responses, why we do what we do. I connected our leadership designs first and foremost, to our attachment styles.
Your attachment style is the way you relate to your humans in intimate relationships and is shaped by our childhood relationships with our primary caregivers.
You can have an anxious attachment, an avoidant one, or a secure one. And a combo of both of those (anxious avoidant, and dismissive avoidant). If you’d like to explore more of your attachment style you can check out the book Attached. However, a warning that this can be intense, particularly if you’ve had unstable caregiver relationships growing up, or history of trauma.
With the attachment styles, no matter what you test as, there is space to move towards a secure attachment too if we cultivate healthy, loving and safe adult relationships with the people around us.
Here’s what we notice:
Anxious attachment folks often identify as either a nurturer or analyst.
Avoidant folks often identify as either conductor or visionary.
The anxious child seeks closeness:
- Do you love me?
- Are we okay?
- Did I hurt you?
- Feels insecure
The avoidant child seeks independence:
- I can do it on my own
- Don’t touch me
- Just leave
- Uncomfortable with too much closeness
In the designs, here’s what we see:
Analyst: As their core need is to be right, we notice these folks were sometimes athletes, or high achievers in school. Many of our clients who were children of immigrants are analysts due to what their parents wanted for them. They often connect to having to be perfect and feeling deeply insecure if they get something wrong. Like they will be loved less.
Nurturer: Their core need being security can track back to many things. We notice they were caretakers of sorts, for maybe siblings, or their own parents. Their needs always came last. We also notice a lot of religious trauma here for some people too. They connect to feeling worried they’re not doing enough or giving enough—to be loved.
Visionary: Their core need is validation which can track back to not getting the love and support they needed as children and having to give that to themselves. Because of this, they can connect to feeling like the misfit, a loner, and like no one really gets them.
Conductor: Their core need is control, which speaks to much of how they might have had to soothe their own needs because a parent couldn’t/wouldn’t. They grew up to be people who didn’t want to rely on others. Making them feel like they want independence, and distant always. As control can make them feel safe.
When we look even further at the way Sara and I explore leadership, is through a lens of reactivity VS responsiveness.
We can see by looking at the above, where someone might feel like there is a higher threat, and how this may trigger a more reactive response in their business. When we get triggered (both in our business and in life), we are more likely to react instead of respond. And this reaction can be shaped by our attachment style (ex: conductor may push someone away and want nothing to do with them when triggered).
Responding comes from more regulated place and is possible for all of us with time, patience, and practice.
Your process makes sense. And this is one way we begin to move human first in business. When we can explore how you exist, respond, and react to things + why we can better support what you utilize, and why.
Business is so personal, and it didn’t begin when you started your business, it began when you were small, and someone did, or did not support you and keep you safe in the ways you need. Diving into your attachment can feel like a lot, and you don’t need to fully understand it to move with the leadership designs or move closer to yourself. It gets to be a supportive tool, only if you want it to be.