Author of four previous books, poet and positive psychologist Meehan (Hall Ways to Success and Significance, 2014, etc.) explores the origins and meanings of two promises that have guided his life work as an organizational relationship consultant.
Born in the same Liverpool hospital and in the same year as Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, the author of this semi-autobiography relates the stories of his early aversion to violence as well as the various mentors who guided him. Almost by chance, Meehan discovered the two guiding principles, the two mantras (“I mean you no harm” and “I seek your greatest good”), that so perfectly encapsulate his deep, abiding interest in building trusting relationships, which is the focus of his book. Meehan’s encounter and subsequent deep professional relationship with Dr. William Hall—a positive psychologist and developer of highly structured organizational interviewing techniques—changed the author’s life. Meehan joined Hall’s firm, Talent Plus, in Lincoln, Nebraska. “Bill invested in relationships as intensely as financial brokers invest in shares on the stock exchange,” he writes of Hall’s preoccupation with building solid bonds of trust with others. The book then explores relationship building through RSVP, an acronym Meehan developed to show the importance of developing strong personal relationships, investing in strengths, allowing vision and virtue to guide one’s actions, and adopting a positive approach to experience. Meehan then examines the meaning of trust in the context of the two sentences that comprise the book’s title. While this shifting organizational landscape may seem to impose structural challenges, the author proves adept at applying various approaches to his central theme. His interest in Aristotle, the Stoics, and other philosophers enriches the discussion. A fairly strong writer, Meehan ends his exploration with a number of his poems—an unfortunate choice. Cloyingly saccharine, the rhymed verse detracts from the earnest exposition established in earlier sections: “Continue to live your life for many years more. / You’ll live to be a hundred—that’s for sure! / And please remember while you do, / John, Jim, Stephen and Margaret will always love you.”
An engaging, albeit imbalanced, discussion of the psychology and application of trust building.