Crucial connection

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Author and journalist Peter Lovenheim‘s latest book grew out of a tempestuous relationship. “The Attachment Effect” explores attachment theory and its impact on relationships at home and in the workplace, including public office.

Attachment refers to the way an individual relates to others. The type of attachment style is formed during the first two years of life, researchers say, and is a style that remains and influences all human interaction, including parenting. For instance, a secure attachment generally translates into a confident, self-possessed person, while an avoidant attachment may breed self-reliance and independence.

“If I had my choice, I’d like to see all the children in the world raised with secure attachment, including our political leaders,” says Lovenheim, whose previous books include “In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time.”

Peter Lovenheim

He believes attachment styles can be a useful in numerous ways. Knowledge of attachment types could be a tool for leaders to use in the workplace to build effective teams, for example.

While doing research for his book, Lovenheim, who splits his time between Rochester and Washington, D.C., spoke with Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and other political leaders.

“When all was said and done I came to the conclusion that there seems to be an over-representation of avoidant attachment in our political leaders,” Lovenheim says.

Lovenheim, whose articles and essays have appeared in publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post, recently discussed his book with Rochester Beacon Publisher Alex Zapesochny. Listen to their conversation.

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