There is a term people use to imply that the numbers being discussed may, in fact, not be the truth. The term is sandbagging. For example, “I didn’t report the sales numbers quite right. I held back some sales for next month.” This is sandbagging. Another example, “We need to get fifteen units done by noon,” when the real number is 13 but you are trying to “motivate” your people. This is sandbagging. There is another word to describe this sandbagging, lying.
OK, I just offended many readers because you engage in this practice. While you may think you are setting the bar high for your team, or softening the blow for your boss, what you are doing is not telling the truth. This is a lie. Now, I recognize and accept that there are times when we may choose not to reveal the whole truth and nothing but the truth. However, this is far different from telling someone something that is simply not true. Let’s look at some manifestations of sandbagging at work.
Try this. Tell people the truth. When we sandbag them they figure it out and they think to themselves that we don’t trust them. And if we don’t trust them with the truth then why would they want to work hard for us. What will happen is they will stop working hard for us because they do not feel trusted. The problem is they will keep coming to work. They actually show up every day, they just don’t work hard when they do.
Wally Adamchik is President of FireStarter Speaking and Consulting. Visit the website at www.beaFireStarter.com. He can be reached at 919-673-9499 or wally@beaFireStarter.com.
"Your energetic speaking style and well-polished presentation captured the attention of the entire audience of nearly 300 Coast Guard personnel...Your familiarity with the Coast Guard and our missions was evident, as you incorporated service history and factual information in your presentation... Your sincere, heartfelt presentation certainly contributed to the overall readiness of this command. Thanks again!"
Captain Mike Moore
USCG, Commanding Officer
Aviation Training Center