Bureaucrat's Handbook
Developing Antidotes for Bureaucracy


Grin Fake
Saying "yes" and doing "no"

When “Point well taken” really means “I cleverly dismissed your point of view”, and when “I'll get back to you on that” really means “Let's get off that topic and never visit it again" you have been “Grin Faked"

A Grin fake is saying “yes” when you really mean “no way.” It is an attempt to look good and appear to accept responsibility when it is actually a disingenuous and disrespectful dismissal of you and your ideas.

The phrase “Thank you for your leadership” can be used in a modified grin fake. This phrase is often used to introduce, distract from, or soften the impact of a dismissal,  delay, inaction, denial, or outright negative response. Dismiss the flattery and pay attention to the words and action that follow.

If we cannot say “no” then our “yes” has no meaning; have the courage to say “no” when you can't commit to “yes”.

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