Serving Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Holmby, Century City, Trousdale, Brentwood, Westwood

Conquering Stress! With Dr. Arlene—Missing the Real Message Causes Stress

Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 – 2:35 PM

Dr. Arlene Barro

Speaking in veiled communications is common. Some people do this purposely; notably politicians who excel in not answering questions. Others, lack the ability to craft a clear message. They do not have the precise verbiage or have not defined what they want to say. As receivers of messages, it is critical for us to unveil the real message using the right decoding skills. Otherwise, the real message will be missed which could lead to making wrong decisions, resulting in stress.

Decoding Strategies that Work

When I was growing up and as an adult, people sought my advice. I finally realized why. I had special analytical skills. I could dissect a message and synthesize the information to create a solution based on the real message. I made no erroneous assumptions! How did I do that? I figured it out. I could “see the unseen and hear the unspoken.” My father taught me how to do this at age 6. He asked me to listen to his conversations and explain what the speaker was saying. Most people do not have this ability. Some have inklings of the unseen and unspoken but cannot put together the whole story to reach a reliable, valid solution.

My clients enjoy hearing my advice and strategies, as I articulate my process. New clients start implementing the strategies wondering, if they will work. They are amazed and delighted with the results. Whether it is turning down the Wrong Fit job offer to take the Right Fit job, carving out part of a company to become a corporate entrepreneur, or exiting to their new opportunity before they are shown the door. In some situations clients do not follow my advice and are shocked when the ax falls. They experience needless stress and aggravation.

Deciphering the Mixed Message

For many, deciphering the mixed message is very difficult. Here is a situation in which my CFO client did not want to accept the real message when I explained it to him. Ultimately, he agreed with me.

Here is what happened. My client actively pursued a CFO position in a company that intrigued him, even though they had financial issues. The owner’s wife was the CFO. Supposedly, she was ready to retire. My client was selected to replace her. I told him that she would not retire, and he would be doing the work. I advised not continuing to interview. What happened next? The owner referred to his wife as draconian. When I heard that, I thought this comment was more than a red flag, it was a forrest on fire. Run for the hills! The owner was referring to his wife as harsh or cruel. In 1876 Draco, a lawmaker, created a severe code of laws. Hence, draconic.

I thought that “draconian” would be the last nail in her coffin. He still insisted on accepting the job. The offer letter arrived. I was correct. He would have limited responsibility, no power, no CFO title, and report to the current CFO for many months. I told him that if he signed the offer letter, he would be miserable and have significant stress. My client still wanted the job. Finally, after many weeks of discussion, he turned it down. Without my intervention, he would be working there today. Are you trying to turn a Wrong Fit into a Right Fit? Remember my client Steve. If you are examining a rotten apple, recognize it and do not eat it. Steve almost ate the rotten apple.

Determining the Communication Mode

We use a wide array of communication modes. Those who want to present a mirky message can easily hide behind the veil of email. In fact, I even did a radio show episode on the topic. Instead of going back and forth on email or text, arrange a time to speak by phone to uncover the real message, unless it is a simple matter. A rare exception. I know two successful editors who exchanged 800 emails and then got married! They lived in different states and saw each other infrequently. Their email courtship worked because both were award-winning communicators.

Telephone, in-person, and video conversations will enable you to see the unseen and hear the unspoken. Analyze the information. Listen carefully. Visualize the person, if you are talking on the phone. Ask questions to find the real message. You will avoid significant stress, if you select Right Fits not Wrong Fits.

Upcoming seminar: Conquering Stress With Dr. Arlene Ignites Success, on Sept. 19 or Oct.18. See more on the Conquering Stress page at

Questions? Email Responses could appear in her next column.

Dr. Arlene Barro, the creator of the Right Fit Method, is a UCLA-trained behavioral educational psychologist and professional speaker. She is the author of WIN Without Competing!, a business, career, and personal strategist and founder/CEO of barro global search, inc. on 10940 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood. Episodes of her radio show are available at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for Breaking News & Alerts