Matthew Cahill: From Self-Acceptance to Belonging – Exploring the Path to Happiness | Sero Boost #50

In this episode, host Dina Sargeant is joined by Matthew Cahill who is the CEO and Principal Consultant of The Percipio Company

This episode discusses some common workplace problems that many people face when they don’t feel like they fit in, such as having difficulties with managers or not being in the right role. It also talks about the differences between working for a company and being a freelancer, as well as how being associated with a well-known brand or company can give listeners a sense of identity and belonging.

Meet Matthew Cahill

Matthew J. Cahill is the CEO and Principal Consultant of The Percipio Company. He is an expert in addressing biases within organizations and helping them foster a sense of belonging. Matthew takes an introspective and self-reflective approach to guide organizations in reducing biases, strengthening employee relationships, and increasing productivity. He has a track record of success, having worked with major clients like LinkedIn and Salesforce, as well as numerous small to mid-size companies.

About the episode

In this episode, Matthew emphasizes the importance of self-acceptance through introspection. By understanding oneself and aligning roles with individual identities, skills, and passions, individuals can enhance their sense of agency and belonging within their work environment.

According to Matthew, organizations should make it a priority to focus on identity, agency, and power in order to create a culture of belonging. This means helping individuals gain self-awareness and placing them in roles where they can thrive and make a real impact.

Matthew breaks biases down into three types: cognitive biases, social biases, and institutional biases. Cognitive biases come from the way our brains process information, social biases are influenced by things like gender and race, and institutional biases are the ones that become ingrained in company processes over time.

Various strategies discussed in the podcast can help develop self-acceptance and a sense of belonging. One important step is engaging in self-reflection, where individuals notice their automatic behaviors and bring them into conscious awareness. This process deepens one’s understanding of oneself and allows for personal growth.

Another key aspect is identifying core values, morals, passions, and insecurities through introspection. By exploring and embracing all aspects of one’s identity, individuals can align their actions and choices with their true selves. This self-awareness helps in building a strong foundation for self-acceptance.

Strengthening relationships with candid feedback is also crucial. Surrounding oneself with people who can provide honest feedback and hold them accountable can be immensely helpful. Seeking out different perspectives allows for a more well-rounded understanding of oneself and promotes personal development.

Understanding one’s skills and strengths is another important aspect of self-acceptance. Seeking feedback from others can provide an accurate understanding of one’s abilities, enabling individuals to identify their strengths and areas for improvement. This knowledge empowers them to make informed decisions about their career path.

Here are some more key takeaways from the podcast on how to develop self-acceptance and a sense of belonging:

  • Find network outside your social circles: Expand your network by connecting with individuals outside your immediate social circles. Befriend influencers and seek out mentors or advocates who can support your professional development.
  • Seek a more inclusive company culture: If you face bias without adequate support, consider gaining experience elsewhere while actively seeking a workplace with a more inclusive and supportive culture.
  • Address systemic biases: Organizations should take proactive steps to address systemic biases. This can include implementing de-biasing processes and creating roles that are shaped around people rather than shaping people around roles.
  • Foster belonging through leadership: Leaders can foster a sense of belonging by focusing not only on what work is done but also on how work gets done. Building a psychologically safe environment where employees feel valued and respected contributes to a culture of belonging.

In conclusion

Developing self-acceptance and a sense of belonging is important both for individuals and organizations. It requires introspection, understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and finding roles that truly fulfill you. Organizations must address biases, create safe environments, and prioritize employee well-being. 

And remember, belonging comes from having a strong sense of self-identity, finding the right role that suits you, and having leadership that truly values its people. This all leads to happier, more productive individuals and a healthier organizational culture.

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