Attachment style and quality listening: Keys to meaningful feedback and stronger leader-member connections

Manuel London*, Judith Volmer, Jetmir Zyberaj, Avraham N. Kluger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper describes how leaders (managers or supervisors) can provide more motivating feedback, and team members (employees or subordinates) can absorb and use that feedback to improve their performance. This is based on an understanding of attachment styles of leaders and team members, high-quality listening, psychological safety, and effective feedback. We begin by describing how attachment styles influence listening during feedback discussions. Next, we explore the benefits of high-quality listening—how it develops psychological safety for both leaders and team members and how they can learn to be better listeners. Furthermore, we describe how psychologically safe feedback discussions that arise from a secure attachment style and high-quality listening create stronger leader-member relations. We conclude with guidelines for recognizing ones attachment style, developing listening skills, and making feedback discussions more constructive.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number100977
JournalOrganizational Dynamics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.


  • Attachment style
  • Feedback
  • Leader-member
  • Psychological safety
  • Quality listening
  • Relations


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