In last week’s reading about the trust triangle we found that individuals that share more are known more and therefore easier to trust. This week I will write about the other principle mentioned in the 1st module of the ICOPE program namely the 4 C’s of trust based on the book of my dear friend Jonathan Low from Singapore. 


The 4 C’s are:

  • Competence
  • Caring
  • Consistency
  • Candour

Competence – This is often understood as “I must know all” and thereby leaders set themselves up for failure. Competence is more about I will get it done. It’s not necessary for a CEO of a company to know everything to be competent. If that CEO can get the company performing at its peak, we would say that the CEO is competent. I would like to see the CEO that is able to do that and still knows every function of everyone in the organisation perfectly. On the contrary if you try to show you know everything you likely are messing up your candour since you will not be honest in your interactions.

Caring – We make the mistake of thinking that caring makes us vulnerable and people will take advantage. I believe that caring for a leader is not negotiable, but we need to be honest and consistent in how we deal with things. I should care about the employee that has a sick parent to care for. If I however allow that knowledge to influence my decision about consequences, then I will not be consistent and therefore create a feeling of unfairness in the team I am leading.

Consistency – When I’m consistent in my actions people can gage my behaviour. This satisfies the need to feel control as highlighted in the “Law of Supremacy”. Doing things, the same way in different situations makes it easy for individuals to gage fairness and therefore leaves them with a sense of fairness even in difficult situations. Consistency in our behaviour is driven mainly by 2 main factors:

  • Clear understanding of our guiding truths or values.
  • Documented guidelines for behaviour or a code of conduct that we ascribe to.

Candour – I find that this word needs a definition and here it is: “the quality of being open and honest; frankness”. If we are honest about our shortcomings without hiding behind them we will be competent in the eyes of others. Being honest in a caring way generates a unique connection which is at times used as a replacement C for candour due to this connection. By being honest about the difficulty at times experienced when we must stay consistent individuals feel a sense of safety with us.

Trust is crucial for the success of our team so what should we do?

Be honest about your shortcomings, while you consistently drive towards greater effectiveness. Never forget to care about your work family.