Honesty and Respect in the House of Commons or in the Common Team?



A few months ago, I was gifted with the opportunity to have a behind-the-scenes tour of our Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. My absolute favourite place was the Library of Parliament as it was incredibly peaceful and hallowed. A place where people go to learn, explore and discover. In contrast, the House of Commons lacked that peaceful feeling. It led me to consider what made them so different. I realized that in the House of Commons, people are often debating, arguing, and challenging one another. Not a place of respect, but of undermining and blaming.

These kinds of behaviour can happen in the workplace as well. If you are working in a blame culture, there are things you can do to influence this.

As a Team Dynamics Consultant, here’s how the House of Commons could operate differently if we lived in never-never land:

    1. Everyone shares openly with one another. All MP’s held the values of respect and honesty in the house? And all parties let go of party interests and hidden agendas? Instead, all parties could openly discuss their initiatives and how to make them work best for the country.
    2. People took the time to really listen to each other before preparing their response. By simply listening, MP’s could better hear themselves speak and then recognize shifts in a plan that might need to happen for success.
    3. They give up the goal of popularity (or seeking votes).  They asked themselves, how could we all work together to get the very best for the Canadian people (i.e., their customers)?
    4. During Question Period each person would genuinely acknowledge a positive about a given initiative before asking a question for clarification. And questions would be asked to improve the program vs. exposing flaws. Frequently asked questions would include:

“How could we help you make that project more successful?”
“How could we be even more efficient in this endeavor?”
“What support do you need from me?”

Okay, I’m not naïve enough to think this will happen in politics! Yet, my goal is really to take politics out of your team dynamic!

Are you actively using these strategies on a consistent basis in your team? If not, choose one of the above behaviours and put it in place today. You can and will have positive impact on the system you work in. Imagine the peaceful workplace you could co-create!

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