The circles of distortion, Part II
(this is a continuation of this post)
So how do Peter and Paul have such different views on the project that Shaun is working on? The answer is as simple as: each one of them heard a story about the project from different people in the organization, but the implications are far more complicated than that.
Peter got his information from the account manager, Diana. Client was happy, was talking about future projects so, she projected a positive spin on the story
Paul got his news from the project manager, Rob. He was not happy as he blamed the budget overrun on Shaun's inexperience and he wanted to make sure that Paul knew about this.
Both versions of reality started with Shaun delivering a project, which had it's challenges but was delivered in the end. Then each person influenced the message through each layer of management, and hypothetically speaking, if the message "moved up" from Peter and Paul, how good or bad the story is portrayed would be exponentially better or worse.
You could argue that this is just a matter of "Chinese whispers", but these just add chaos or misunderstanding to human communications, making it hard to measure. Where the "circles of distortion" consistently make improve or degrade a story depending on a series of variables that go from personal interests to work relationships.
The circles of distortion are not inherently good or bad, depending on who is affected from them you could use them to your benefit or you'd have to fight them.