Join us for a landmark episode of Uncover The Human - our 100th episode! Cristina and Alex take the hot seat and share their journey and how authenticity has transformed their lives. Enjoy this thought-provoking celebration and consider what authenticity can do for your life.
Credits: Raechel Sherwood for Original Score Composition.
YouTube Channel: Uncover The Human
Alex Cullimore: Welcome to Uncover the Human, where every conversation revolves around enhancing all the connections in our lives.
Cristina Amigoni: Whether that’s with our families, co-workers, or even ourselves.
Alex Cullimore: When we can be our authentic selves, magic happens.
Cristina Amigoni: This is Cristina Amigoni.
Alex Cullimore: And this is Alex Cullimore.
HOSTS: Let's dive in.
Authenticity means freedom.
Authenticity means going with your gut.
Authenticity is bringing 100% of yourself. Not just the parts you think people want to see, but all of you.
Being authentic means that you have integrity to yourself.
It's the way our intuition is whispering something deep-rooted and true.
Authenticity is when you truly know yourself. You remember and connect to who you were before others told you who you should be.
It's transparency, relatability, no frills, no makeup, just being.
Kelli Oberndorf: Welcome to the Uncover the Human Podcast. If you're a regular listener to Uncover the Human, you may be surprised to hear a different voice welcoming you today and be curious where Alex and Cristina may be. In fact, this is a very special episode today. I am your guest host, Kelli Oberndorf, and I will be interviewing the amazing Cristina Amigoni and Alex Cullimore for the recording of their 100th episode. Welcome, Cristina and Alex to your 100th episode, and huge congratulations. That's amazing.
Cristina Amigoni: Thank you. Thank you.
Alex Cullimore: Yeah. Thank you. This is one of my favorite podcasts, so glad to be on.
Cristina Amigoni: Is it? It’s one of your favorites?
Kelli Oberndorf: We thought it would be really fun to turn the tables and interview the two of you today. How does it feel to be in the hot seat?
Cristina Amigoni: Well, with you, it’s always in the hot seat.
Alex Cullimore: That feels great. I’m excited.
Cristina Amigoni: We never know what question. It's going to turn up the heat under my chair.
Kelli Oberndorf: Well, you should be both be very excited about your 100th episode. That's a big accomplishment for a podcast, especially these days.
Alex Cullimore: Yeah. Thanks. Yeah. It's been a journey.
Cristina Amigoni: It has been a journey.
Alex Cullimore: It's crazy. It's already a 100 episodes. It at one point, it feels like, we started this two lifetimes ago and on the other side, I can't believe we're already at a 100.
Cristina Amigoni: Yup. Yeah, I was just talking about that with my husband. I was saying how the first 10, 15, even 20 was this anticipation of, we're almost at 10. We're almost at 11. We're almost at 12. Then, you just forget and then yeah, happened to look at the numbers the other day and I'm like, “Wait, I'm typing in 98. Wow. We're almost at 100.”
Kelli Oberndorf: That's awesome. Well, we've all thought it would be really fun to just turn tables here and ask a little bit about the history of this podcast and how it's dovetailed into Siamo and what's changed and what you've learned so far. Maybe you all could take us back a little bit and share about the birth of the podcast, how it came to be and what were the thoughts around it? What was inspiring about starting this podcast?
Cristina Amigoni: Definitely. Alex, you want to start?
Alex Cullimore: Sure. I can kick us off.
Cristina Amigoni: I'm delegating the hot seat.
Alex Cullimore: This one, I almost wanted to give to you, Cristina, just because you had a great idea of when to incept this. Basically, when we started Siamo, we had upwards of, I don't know, 200 different ideas of things we wanted to do with it.
Cristina Amigoni: Sounds about right.
Alex Cullimore: It was a matter of like, we wanted to get to things like podcasting. We wanted to get to things like, writing a book, or having clients, or getting to human-centric solutions that we've we finally have a lot more definition on now, a 100 episodes later. Basically, we incepted the whole company a little bit before COVID started. Maybe, I don't know, eight months before everything started to shut down. We had a lot of different ideas at that point. We were in the, let's build a software platform, and then we'll get business and then when we have the business, we'll be able to start a podcast. Then a global pandemic hits, everything flips upside down. Cristina is operating half as a teacher, half as a consultant with us at Siamo. Everything has gone awry. We're trying to figure out what we do, how we stay connected. Cristina texts me at some point out of the blue and goes, “Yeah, we should start the podcast now.” There was truly no reason not to. We were all sitting in our houses, and it was something we'd always wanted to do. It was this great lesson in let's jump in before we're ready and give ourselves permission to do something we wanted to do. That ended up being just been a huge turning point mentally for the mental health of the company of hey, what if we just started giving ourselves permission to do the things that we said we wanted to do, instead of weirdly gatekeeping ourselves and waiting for some mysterious third-party to go deliver the permission we were looking for?
Cristina Amigoni: That's definitely a good summary of the journey. All the ideas. Doing a podcast was always one of the top ideas from the beginning, but it was definitely 15, or 20th down the line of after this happens and after this happens and after this happens and after this happens, we'll do a podcast. Now, from a book perspective, we're still in that phase of we want to write a book and it's after this happens, after this happens. We'll let you know when the book comes out. It'll probably be some midlife crisis text that one of us is saying and like, “We're starting the book now.” The podcast was very much that. I actually remember, I was up in Keystone on vacation with my family and I was listening to podcasts. I can't remember which one I was listening to. It was an usual one, though. It's probably one of the science of success show episodes. It was some leader expert that was talking on how if you want to get to a certain point and do the things you want to do, you just have to start. You just have to know that it's going to take you calling a 100 people on a sales call to maybe get one to listen. You're never going to get to the one if you don't do the 100. Just get used to the fact that 99 are not going to happen. One may or may not be listening. I translated that into what we were doing. I got the motivation and the midlife crisis in the middle of a pandemic, of why are we waiting? There's nothing else we're doing that's really a priority. I mean, we're doing all these other things anyway. We'll do them all. If we're trying to build a business, then let's try to build a business and the podcast and keep talking about writing a book, but not writing it, and do all these other things. See which one will move us forward, once we actually throw them on the wall. The podcast was really a sanity thing. It was the giving us permission to be who we are in a safe space. Safe because it's not live and we're not on a stage. Unsafe, because then, hundreds of people listen to it. Well, that's after the fact, so too bad. Then it was also a way to connect with the pandemic and the disconnection between people. It was how do we meet people? How do we talk to them? How do we have conversations? This was the way that it started.
Kelli Oberndorf: Wow, that's awesome. It sounds like, especially during the pandemic, and we're all home, and we're isolating, we’re isolating with their families that this actually could really be a light, even for the two of you to be able to connect outside of our four walls and our families and really reach out and do what the mission of this podcast was designed for in the first place and of course, what Siamo is designed for, which is that human connection.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. Indeed.
Alex Cullimore: Became a bit of a lifeline, I think, in that way. We were redefining everything about what we wanted Siamo to be, how we wanted it to be. We needed that connection, I think, to reach out to other people to start bouncing and say some ideas off of, and just to have that point of, “Hey, we'd love to talk to you.” It became such an exciting thing to do every week, or every two times a week. Sometimes four times a week, we've had episode recordings. We get to talk to people about something they're passionate about. It became this incredible connection point where they get to share something they love and we get to hear all these fascinating angles of some new topic we'd never knew about, or didn't know existed. We got to put it all into this umbrella and got to help share it. It became this just really fun project that was definitely a bit of a lifeline, I think, for connection for us during the initial phases of the pandemic, especially.
Kelli Oberndorf: Yeah, I can really see that for sure. Speaking of your guests, it would be wonderful to hear from both of you. What are either a guest, or a couple of guests that's really stuck out to you and what have you learned from them? How have you changed through the conversations that you've had with these people that you – that maybe just stick out to you?
Cristina Amigoni: Well, that's a tough one. Because we've had so many that just, yeah. Everybody's so uniquely incredible with what they're doing and courageous and brave. I would say, I don't know why, but the first one that comes to mind as soon as you asked was Duncan. Duncan lives in Paris. Well, actually lives in France now. When we interviewed him, he lived in Paris. He's Canadian originally. The conversation with him, I think he was our first across the pond guest, like non-US-based guest. That was also a big highlight was like, wow, not only we get to do this within time zones, or are within the Denver metro area, but we get to do this across continents. He was a connection that I made through LinkedIn just organically. His feed showed up on mine, through mutual connections. We started following each other. We start chatting on the side. We noticed that we had this very close alignment in values. We reached out and said like, “Hey, we have this podcast. We'd love to have you on if you'd like to be on.” He immediately said yes. We had a wonderful conversation on respect and how to really make it at the core of how we relate to other humans, and how in our actions and how we show up. That was definitely a hugely memorable episode for me, because of his vulnerability in the episode. Also, just really thinking through something that's so almost forgotten. It's like, oh, yeah, of course, we should respect others. Done. Let's go grocery shopping, or let's get on this meeting. When do you actually get to sit down and think and define and unpack what respect is means and how it's manifested, and what happens when it's not there for an hour, or an hour and a half?
Kelli Oberndorf: I could see how that can be really powerful, and really dissecting respect. You're right. It's a term that gets thrown around. We all know how much of a lack of respect we have in our societies and to figure out what your definition is and dive into that topic. Be really impactful, for sure.
Alex Cullimore: Yeah, I would agree. That episode with Duncan was great. I'd have a hard time picking one, because I feel like, I'm going to end up excluding somebody. I don't know that we have time to go through a 100 guests. There's something just different to learn each time. Duncan did a great job of unpacking something that is core. To your point, Kelli, we take it for granted at one point. We need respect, but what does that really mean? We've had a few of those conversations. Randall’s topic on relationships and why that – All of these things that are core to how we function well as humans, and we don't necessarily spend time thinking about it, because we assume things like, well, yeah, we need respect and we don't think about what it means to do that. Well, we need boundaries. Well, what does it mean to do that? I remember in the last podcast with Simon Sinek and Brene Brown and Adam Grant, they talked about how, yes, you can ask for boundaries and how well you're doing it, respecting them. That's a good portion to think about. How are we bringing these out ourselves? It's hard to point to any specific conversation that we've gotten to have. So many of them in my mind, relate back to that concept of going to the abstract core of something that we all know is important, and getting to dissect that a little bit, so we can plug it in better, since it's already going to be part of the throughline of our lives.
Kelli Oberndorf: Absolutely. What I hear in both of what you've said is so much of that aligned value between the guests that you've had, and what you do, who you are, what Siamo is, and how that really just exemplifies, how your guests exemplify the values that are instilled in this podcast and Siamo, and really, just in who you are for the world.
Cristina Amigoni: I don't even know how we came up with a theme. The theme of the podcast is authenticity and how do we show up authentically? How do we live a life of authenticity? I really do not remember why, or how we picked that topic. I do remember when I mentioned that to my husband that we're starting a podcast. He's like, “Oh, okay. What's the theme?” It’s like, authenticity. He’s like, “How can that be a whole podcast? It's a 10-minute definition.” I’m like, “Is it though? Is it? Is it a 10-minute definition? Does everybody have the same definition? I think there's more to that, so we're going to go and try this out.”
Alex Cullimore: Two years later, we've had a 100 different definitions of it. I think, one of the things that the reason we ended up starting that is because the mission for Siamo originally, and the vision is like, what if we create a place where people can bring their whole selves to work? They can be themselves and have that connection to who they are in a holistic sense. That felt like a pretty natural tie into authenticity. It's funny that Jeff had that reaction, because when I was picking authenticity, we were thinking about authenticity, it felt almost too broad. Is this going to even attract people to it? Because it's something so broad, we could put anything under it, which was also a little bit by design, we get to have all the conversations we get to have, because in our minds, it's a giant umbrella.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, definitely. It's almost as, have you guys have ever seen those mosaics that are made of individual pictures, and each individual picture is completely different? Then when they come together, they actually form a larger picture. I almost feel like, that's what the theme of authenticity is doing for our podcast and what we've built and created and gathered with all the answers and all the conversations is, we just put the word authenticity on top of this blank canvas, and then each guest and each conversation, it's its own scene of unpacking themselves and their definition and their life and their passion. Somehow at some point, they're all going to form this gigantic, large image, but I still don't know what that looks like.
Kelli Oberndorf: Well, in my mind, which has came up was this beautiful vision of all of those little tiny mosaics, with all these individuals that – and the bigger image is really the heart, beating heart, and how that connects each of us to each other and to our own values.
Cristina Amigoni: Okay, so now we need a graphic artist to actually make that happen. Any candidates can reach out to us.
Kelli Oberndorf: Calling out to –
Alex Cullimore: Now soliciting bids. I mean, given that basically, every one of these has been recorded over Zoom, I feel like, we already have the tiles for a mosaic. We just need somebody to put them into a nice look.
Kelli Oberndorf: Great. What have you noticed about yourselves, as you have developed and grown your audience? What's changed within you during this time, not only just this time during the podcast, just we've also gone through just this very traumatic global trauma, I guess, the buzz word for it. As your guests have cycled through and you have been growing, what are some of the highlights that you've noticed about yourself has changed?
Alex Cullimore: Most immediately, when we first started it, we were doing all of our editing ourselves. The most immediate change that happened right away was having to listen to ourselves for hours at a time. Very quickly, you stop using fillers, because once you hear yourself say, um, or like 900 times in the course of a 45-minute recording, you start to correct that real hard. That was one, getting over that and feeling like it's a lot easier just to have a conversation and go to where we want to go. I think over the course of two years, I feel like, we've gotten much more succinct about what we're saying, how we're saying it. We get some good flow going. We've gained a more ability to get that flow with people that we've only met a couple of times, and most before we jump on a podcast with them.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, we've definitely gotten faster at getting to know people and having those conversations with complete strangers. We used to have longer prep calls, or we used to have multiple prep calls before the actual recording. Now, there's times where we don't even have a prep call. If we know enough about the person through the recommendation, or through chatting away and looking at what they're doing and then looking at what we're doing, we just jump in. We schedule the recording, and then we talk quickly in the first few minutes, how we're going to structure it and which is really freeform, but how we're going to start, what the overall topic may be, and then we just do it. We just go. Let's see. I'd say, that we definitely got better at that and faster that the fillers for sure, we've learned to just pause and not say anything, instead of using the fillers. Also, personally from, I guess, my point of view of my own growth, is having given us permission to do something that we wanted to do without the immediate, well but, how's that going to grow your business? How much money are you going to get out of that? Is that your marketing and is that this? Without having to fit it into a business plan box that somebody else dictated 100 years ago on how a business should grow. Just giving us cells permission to do something that we just wanted to do, because we wanted to do it. That was it. We wanted to have the experience and we wanted to have the conversations and we wanted to meet people and give them a chance to share their passion. That is the basic, the most basic reason why we did this and we're still doing that. There's still no ulterior motive for doing it. Well, at the beginning, I felt like it opened up the door of giving us permission. I think, the result for me was that it opened up a whole new universe of showing up, and courage, and even things like integrity. Integrity is one of my top core values. For me, it means that walking the talk. I can't say something and then not walk it and not do it. The podcast has given me almost a chance to not get away with not walking the talk. If I record a whole episode talking about the importance of having difficult conversations, every single time I have to have the difficult conversations. Some weeks, it feels like it's a daily thing. I think back of the fact that like, you know what? I just published the recording that people have heard of me saying that difficult conversations are necessary. I can't shy away from that. I'm going to have to walk the talk.
Kelli Oberndorf: That's so powerful. Bringing in those values. Also, right at the beginning of what you just said was, when you removed the, in order tos, in order to accomplish this, in order to achieve that, and you really came back. What I heard was that your values have really had the opportunity to shine and reflect like, “Oh, right. I said this.” I’m going to have to be employing myself accountable for what I’ve said now.
Alex Cullimore: Our podcast is like our own self ratcheted accountability measure. Just, we'll keep turning it and then we can't go back. I like how you said that, Kelli, because we did have to remove a lot of the in order tos, and we almost replaced the in order tos with the external things that were supposed to be done. This has to fit in some business plan. Where the in order to became, in order to fulfill the idea that we wanted to do this. It became important just to fulfill our values, to fulfill the thing that we wanted to get out of that. To try it. That giving ourselves permission to do that and make that important enough to take action has made a huge difference in how we show up as a company, how we show up in our lives, how we just approach wanting to do things and allowing that to be enough to start, minus the book, which we still have to start.
Kelli Oberndorf: Well, you'll have a lot of content once that book does get started, because of how rich these experiences and these conversations that are very evident, that have had an impact on your life, having it had an impact on your business, your relationships in both areas, and who you are as core human beings.
Cristina Amigoni: It definitely has. It's like a never-ending library of knowledge, all these conversations. There's no subject, that's there's no definition, there is no word, there's no experience that we can say, or at least I can say, “Yeah, got it. I know exactly what that is. I don't have to learn anything more about that.” It's like, we learn so much from the people that we interview and from having these conversations. Every time, it's like, “Whoa, okay.” Light bulb moments. Just mind-blowing moments. You name it. There's hardly not a single one conversation that doesn't include a huge learning lessons for ourselves, or our own life. Our guests, and just learning from them and also just the human experience. Life for everybody else. How do we relate in the next meeting, in the next encounter? How do we look at somebody, or somebody’s life, or even a group of people differently? I think, the level of empathy that has flourished, just listening to people and their stories and what they go through and what they're passionate about, it's incredible.
Alex Cullimore: I think for me, one of the pure joys in life is just getting to brainstorm and create, especially around something that somebody is particularly interested in. We've been very lucky, all of our guests have been open enough to share all of their passions with us, and they're very open about and they'll talk about all these angles. When we reflect pieces of it, or brainstorm other ideas that connect to it, this whole shared knowledge base happens for a little hour, where we all build on this topic. I feel incredibly lucky that Cristina and I get to be in the thick of all of those, because each one of those conversations, to your point, Cristina, just adds a whole new layer. It just feels like this continual learning in the best way possible, where you just get to hear flowing excitement from people, and you start to think about all the ways that you want to apply that, or wow, what an impact that could make. It's so exciting just to get all of those pieces, clicking together and building this giant mosaic and this puzzle that has no edges. You just keep going and going and going.
Kelli Oberndorf: Yeah. I'm so glad that you both touched on that, because you started with like, how has it changed you. Also, as you both have spoken, it seems to me that your view of the world has also really shifted inside of these conversations. We can be so focused on the negative and what's not working and all of those more negative perspectives. What I really get from what you've both just shared is how much that your personal experience with each of your guests has really expanded your views on just humanity in general.
Cristina Amigoni: It definitely has.
Alex Cullimore: It's tempting to feel like you need to be the expert when you jump in, especially when you're starting your own company, you want to be able to provide some competence and feel very confident that you are covering the bases. One thing I think that this has done is when you have conversations with people who have so many new perspectives and viewpoints, you get very comfortable with the idea that you definitely don't know it all. You're never going to know it all, and there's always going to be somebody who has something that can help and build here and that getting comfortable with that really removes that pressure of feeling like, “Well, I have to know everything.” There's absolutely no way that we could know everything. It also helps us, I think, know that there's abundance out there. There's so much out there that you're never going to run out. You don't need to feel limited. You don't need to feel like you're stopping yourself. That has been another huge internal turning point, allowing us to have a lot more comfort in engaging with the world and playing in a much more infinite game way. There's no limits at that point, when you start to get comfortable with the idea that you're never going to reach the edge.
Cristina Amigoni: I think, and also, for me personally, at least it's helped me hone into my listening skills. Really open up the space, listen actively and deeply, but also, hone in to the key points of what somebody's talking about, the key story, the energy that goes with what they're saying. I see that almost without consciously doing it, but unconsciously showing up in most interactions that I now have outside of the podcast. Especially in business, I think even with our clients, once the business part started ramping up again, we showed up differently with our clients than we would have pre-podcast, I think, because of a lot of what Alex just said. We didn't show up with the fear, or the expectations that we were the experts in the room. We needed to show that all the time. Be the ones talking, be the ones directing, be the ones giving the plans, being the ones that continuously show our value through talking and commanding and directing and taking space. We did something that's not easy coming from past work experiences. We shifted to believing in creating the space for our clients and we're just there to create the container for them to go through what they need to go through with guidance, with accountability, with the occasional expertise edition, but it's a very different way of really relating to clients. It's not that let me come in and tell you what to do. Then do it for you when you're not going to do it. We step back and we're like, “Well, how about we don't do that?”
Kelli Oberndorf: Yeah. Just reminds me of the first word of this podcast, which is uncovering. You're really helping your clients uncover their own gift and their own expertise. Rather than taking that lead of we're the experts. As consultants, it’s like, in some ways, I think there's this idea that we have to prove ourselves as these experts. What I love about what you just said is that you help them uncover their own expert, their own knowledge and really have that come forth, so that they can build on that themselves. When we leave, they're there by themselves. Going to have to figure it out, right? I love that building of confidence and in trusting of themselves and of each other.
Alex Cullimore: It turned out that that was more the expertise we had wanted to build all along was our ability to hold that space. Because we like living in that value and that integrity that you're talking about, Cristina, being able to walk the talk. That feels just good to be able to do that. When you start to see that there's value in just helping people unlock their own values and that that takes a significant amount of listening and container holding and space and wanting to hold them accountable to what they have stated that they want and what you sense that they want through their general interactions and what they're showing up with, that turned out to be the expertise that has been what we can bring. It's not a model. It's not something we can push down people's throats. It's just the ability to hold that and hold the accountability. That's been a just really fun skill to build, because we get to do it through things like this podcast, where we get to have conversations. It's through connection, and it feels very organic. It feels very fulfilling.
Kelli Oberndorf: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, something I've certainly noticed as well is working with the two of you is your ability to hold that space. What's really resonating for me is when we do that and your clients really do understand that they are the cause, they are the cause for the transformation. They are the cause for their own integrity and their own accountability. That once they start to see that, that they actually start to uncover their own shortcomings, or their own challenges, rather than you saying, “Here's your challenge. Here's what the problem is.” It's like, hey, bringing curiosity to the conversation and helping them really uncover that for themselves. That, I think, is really where the true transformation comes from. Because it takes time to uncover that. It takes time for us to realize and become introspective. It becomes a practice. I love that that's – just the mission of this podcast and the mission of Siamo and the work with the clients as well.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, definitely. I mean, transformation is a choice. Change is a choice. We can do it for them. Do we have a guess on what the problems may be? Yes. Is it our place to point them out and work through them? Not really. Because we're not the ones that have to change.
Alex Cullimore: In addition to it maybe not being our place, I mean, how helpful has it ever been in any relationships to be like, “Here's what's wrong about you. Here's what I think you could work on.”
Kelli Oberndorf: That doesn’t create, depends on anything. Usually, people are like, “Oh, yeah. Thanks so much for pointing that out.”
Alex Cullimore: Oh, fantastic. What a learning opportunity.
Cristina Amigoni: I know. Please tell me, what can I do about it?
Kelli Oberndorf: Yeah, my husband loves that. My kids and my husband love it. Let me tell you what's wrong. Well, we've talked a lot about how we've gotten to this moment, to this 100th episode. What are your visions for as you move forward to the 101st and beyond? For your episodes, where are you hoping to track, to bring on, to talk to and continue to expand these definitions of authenticity and integrity of uncovering the human?
Cristina Amigoni: I'll go. I guess, I don't know. I do like the fact that we've been able to create a platform for people that may not have the opportunity to share their passion in a public way. Or maybe if they do, it's not at all as often. We haven't had any huge day. We haven't had the Simon Sineks and the Brene Brown and the Adam Grants of the world, which, I mean, please, if you want to come on the podcast, we won't say no.
Kelli Oberndorf: Open invitation.
Cristina Amigoni: Open invitation. With some bribery, if we can figure that out. It's almost been nice to be able to give the platform to somebody who is so passionate and so brave and vulnerable about what they're doing and who they are and how they show up, but they don't get to share it except for their one-on-ones, or with their clients, or with whoever gives them permission to speak. Because they're not a huge personality. They're not known. They don't get the 10 phone calls a day of, “Hey, come to my speaking event and come to my show and come to this. Let's do an HBO special.” They don't get the opportunity as easily, at least. That's been one of the things that I want to continue to do is finding those people that are changing the world. They're making the world a better place. But they're not on the front page of magazines if they still exist, or even Google search, or any of those.
Alex Cullimore: I would have a very hard time agreeing more with that. I think that's exactly right. That was where my mind went to was like, first of all, well, I mean, pie in the sky. It'd be awesome to have Simon Sinek and Adam Grant and Brene Brown on the podcast. Of course, we would never say no to that. One of the exciting things about doing this with so many people that might not have that platform, or just don't have necessarily a giant name currently, is that you start to realize there's genius everywhere. Everybody has this, this passion and this power. When you start to feel the world that way, everyone becomes just a small lens into their own potential. You get to see what this person is capable of and what they are already doing, what they have done, what brought them to that. Getting to know those stories and see the absolute power that each person brings to the room. It's hard to lose faith in humanity after that point, because you start to see just so many incredible people in all areas, and you start to feel like, well, it must be everybody.
Kelli Oberndorf: Yeah. I love how you said just the diversity of ideas and thoughts and people and their hearts and how valuable that that can be to our own lives and meeting people who are different and who have different businesses that have really innovated the human space. I'm thinking of the last podcast with Neil and Rafal, who had this manufacturing company. You wouldn't think that that human perspective, or maybe our stereotypes of those types of businesses don't involve really the human perspective. But then when they brought in what they bring in, and what they bring out, the trust that they have in the people that work for them, that diversity you're talking about right now of that perspective and the various perspectives that have been here on your podcast will be coming again, or coming soon, these new people, this new ideas and diversity. It’s so exciting and so valuable as well to our growth.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, it truly is.
Alex Cullimore: I'm glad you brought up Neil and Rafal. They are probably my new personal heroes, as far as starting and running companies and just incredibly human way. I mean, the way they've done it, approached it and their humility through it is incredible to be able to be witness to. That's another weird angle of this. We've had so many people who have done such incredible things. I think a previous version of myself might have been a lot more jealous, or insecure, or worried about like, “Oh, my God. Look at all the things these people have accomplished. Look how they've done it and how do you possibly measure up to this?” When you start to see that scale of how many people are doing that, it starts to become less personally pressuring, at least for me, I feel like. And more like, “Oh, wow. There's so much potential out there and I want to learn from everybody.”
Cristina Amigoni: Well, I think you – at least I almost stopped worrying about measuring up to it. Why are we comparing ourselves to somebody else anyway? It's become more of a, given the uniqueness and the diversity, Kelli, as you pointed out, of even just our pool of speakers and who we've talked to. Everybody is making a difference. Everybody is moving the needle, the collective needle in their own way. There is no way to measure them to each other, because it's so different. It needs to be so different, because as humans, we are completely different and unique from each other. We have similar things, but we show up differently. Our experiences are completely separate and different. There's really no reason to compare, who's doing more? What about if everybody just did? That's it.
Kelli Oberndorf: Yeah, respect of each other well for their own diversity and their own perspectives. One thing I'll just add before kicking it over to us is that different – the differences in how people show up, I think, also has this tremendous impact to connect to ourselves as well and teach us more about ourselves as individuals and as the collective. That's one of the things I love about meeting people that are just so different from me is that I get to learn a little more about myself, where my own boundaries are, what my own beliefs are, and also adopt some of those and be like, “Ooh, that was a value that I can either add to the value that's already part of myself.” Or, “Man, that really made an impact on me. I want to think about that more and how I change and how I grow inside of the meetings of others with different perspectives and myself.”
Cristina Amigoni: Even, we learn about our own biases. It’s a huge mirror of realizing like, I had, or I have a bias, because of what they're saying, how they're saying it, what they're doing. I am breaking that bias down. I'm choosing curiosity over the comfort of the bias. I'm choosing to see things from a different perspective, and that breaks the walls down.
Alex Cullimore: Now, it's beautifully said on both your parts. I think, that is some of the magic of getting to meet such a diversity of people is seeing all of those pieces and deciding, hey, this I'd really love to adopt more of, that thought into my life. Suddenly, you have a brand new avenue to explore. When you've done that a couple of times, you're like, “Okay. Well, there's got to be endless avenues to explore now, because I had no idea some of these existed.” Suddenly, you've got an entire network of places. You’re like, there's no reason to think that you would have to limit yourself, or hold on to beliefs just because they have been. It's a lot harder to do that, which is great, to your point, Cristina. You challenge that bias with that curiosity and it allows a much more open mindset.
Kelli Oberndorf: I love what you just said there. Challenge your biases with curiosity. What power that can actually bring to healing ourselves, healing relationships, healing the world is actually bringing curiosity to your bias and recognizing, oh, that's actually – that's a belief I've held. Now seeing it from this other perspective, can I actually be curious about where that came from? Then I have a choice. I can let it go. I can change it. I can keep it. Maybe you don't change. Bringing a level of curiosity to that bias is beautiful. Such power. Such healing potential. Amazing. I would love to ask, what are your definitions of authenticity?
Cristina Amigoni: I even knew this was coming and I still didn't prepare for it. Maybe that's my manifestation of authenticity. Procrastinated the level of not being prepared.
Alex Cullimore: I think it’s pretty important.
Alex Cullimore: Actually, because I also didn't prepare, I'm not going to just riff off of that. Part of it though is that. Authenticity is somewhat an in the moment thing. There is a bit of like, how am I showing up currently? You understand more of who you are, and how that might be affecting general patterns. The more awareness you get, the easier it is to be in touch with where you might be on a given day. Right now, that is, I feel currently very open to a conversation like this. I feel like, I'm in a good learning mindset. Authenticity is living in that moment-to-moment change of yourself and knowing some of that and being able to as best as possible, bring some intentionality to all of who you are and who you want to be.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. Well, thanks for validating, or justifying my procrastination. I agree. I mean, preparing for definition of authenticity doesn't feel very authentic. Because it's a lot of what's happening now. How do I sleep tonight? What happened yesterday? What am I thinking about? How this conversation in itself has changed my experience in who I am as a person. I remember my original definition when we started the podcast was authenticity for me was a social contract between having the courage to show up as our true selves, in a space where people will accept us for that, and we feel like we belong. I would say, that's still true. I still like that definition. I still believe in that. With the much bigger, I guess, and complex part of that, which is, sometimes we are not our true selves, and that's okay. We can still forgive ourselves. Sometimes we don't have the courage to go a 100% true, but we can go 80% true. That's all we can give to the day. That's still authentic, and that's still success. Then the creating the space for somebody else, I find that after two years of podcasts and Siamo work, it's so incredibly missing. It's painfully missing in most of our societies and daily life. It's so absolutely necessary. Finding a way to learn, to create that space and to understand what that means, what is that space that we can create for others. Part of what, I think, we've learned with being on the side of listening and opening up the space is how many people are just desperate to have that space, to show up, to talk about what's on their minds, to go through the thoughts and the pains and the brainstorming and learning through sharing. It's almost like, most people are in a desert and they finally find water. It's painful to see. It's incredible and it's painful to know that that's the reality of most of our daily lives.
Kelli Oberndorf: Yeah. When we realize, I think, the masks that we've been playing with and presenting, especially in the work environment, where we've always been taught to leave your personal at the door, or which, three of us know for sure, does not happen. The fact is, is that the fact that we have to hide our true authentic selves in order to go to work. Then watching those masks come down can be painful at the beginning, when we recognize like, “Oh, I have been either creating an environment where people feel like they have to put masks on,” or my mask has been what's been driving the show and it's covering up insecurities and those vulnerabilities that I've been taught that I have had to shut down, or withdraw from. That can be a painful experience. I think of growth sometimes in that – in the sense of a flower, or a plant that has to travel from its seed and break open the shell. Not only that, that it has to go towards the light, even in the darkness and meander through pebbles and pressure and continue to move through these more challenging places, in order to pop through the surface. Once that plant, or that flower gets to come through the surface of the ground and open towards the sun, that is where that beauty really can be seen and the growth and recognizing that growth, recognizing what it takes, like such courage. I think both of you have said that today. What courage it takes to come out of our shells and out of our own seeds to travel and see our true selves, and the uncovering of that can be incredibly powerful.
Alex Cullimore: I love the metaphors you guys both brought up. The interesting portion is that I've heard a couple people talk about some of their journey, and they finally get to express themselves. I've often heard similar language, different metaphors. Cristina, you're talking about you finally get to water. That's a very obviously nourishing core part to life, you need water. Kelli, you're talking about a flower that's having such a hard time to get to the surface, but you get to the surface, you get the sunlight, this nourishment idea comes up. I've often thought of it as like, finally getting your head above water, and you take that first breath of air, and suddenly you're like, “Oh, my goodness, there was a totally different way to live.” I was just talking to people about the last weekend of coaching training and what this has meant to them, how it's changed them. They were talking about feeling like, they just woke up for the first time and now they're conscious of things. There's so much reflection in the language and people get to that of something deeply nourishing, that feels like, it would have been impossible to live without water, or air, or anything that is so core to our beings. We come up with these metaphors fairly easily when we have experienced some of this. It's interesting how much that vitality keeps resonating every time I hear people talk about that journey, that moment where there is something that was so core missing, that is suddenly available and incredible to think of that power of that. To your point, Cristina, the sadness of how long it might have taken to get to that, and how much I would love to allow people to have more of that earlier.
Cristina Amigoni: Breaking away from the matrix. You can undo it once you do it.
Kelli Oberndorf: You see it.
Cristina Amigoni: Isn't it interesting that we create movies around the fact that authenticity is suppressed in real life?
Alex Cullimore: Yeah. It makes me wonder why we spend so much time suppressing that and it has taken me a while to get comfortable with it. I love the mosaic idea and that building of all the individual pictures and how everybody's still is creating an even larger picture in their individual pictures. Every time we've gotten to open up some of that and see people really access that, you see this gap of available potential that would never have been able to be reached before. There was some ceiling that was being hit before people could actually be a little bit more comfortable and express themselves. The second you get to that point, there's all of this available space that you had no idea existed. It's thrilling when you get to experience that and see other people enter that space. It reminds me of how much we're missing out on, leaving on the table when we don't find the ways to encourage and create that space.
Kelli Oberndorf: That's powerful. What I saw in what you said was, yeah, there's these two collective consciousness. There's probably more than that happening, right? One is this idea that suppressing these parts of ourselves is what we should do. Now, whether or not we've learned that from our parents, or caregivers, or peers, whatever, I can see it even happening with even raising kids, of like, how much pressure there is to be this way, or that way, or not this way, or whatever the current – whatever that should be and isn't and how we start to build those walls. Then what you said, Alex, is here you are in this coaching program and people are waking up and they see that there's this ocean of possibility that can and potential, that is who they can be. How these two simultaneous collective mindsets can live going from one to another is exactly what we've just talked about. It's taking that first breath, that's releasing the pressure valve, that's reaching that sign, taking that drink, whatever metaphors are. How incredibly powerful, but also affirming it can be like, wow. I've been feeling like I've been alone on this private island, or the Sahara Desert and thinking I'm the only one that that is experiencing this suppression. Really, it's such a collective experience. We've all felt we've had to put the mask on. I certainly have felt that way. I still sometimes feel that way, because of that collective agreement that that can really be so detrimental to who we are as authentic human beings.
Cristina Amigoni: We just need to change the collective agreement.
Kelli Oberndorf: Simple.
Cristina Amigoni: Simple.
Alex Cullimore: We’d done by the 101st episode.
Cristina Amigoni: Exactly.
Kelli Oberndorf: Let’s do that. Well, thank you both so much. Again, just congratulations on such a successful podcast. Thank you all for uncovering each of our human, and our guests and the company and just who you both are. Looking so forward to all the new people that will be coming forth in these new episodes that are going to come out.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. Thank you.
Alex Cullimore: Thank you, Kelli.
Cristina Amigoni: We'd love to be on the hot seat.
Kelli Oberndorf: I'll put you there sometimes.
Cristina Amigoni: Exactly. Let’s just make it a recurring thing.
Alex Cullimore: Yeah. I like it.
Cristina Amigoni: Yes. Thank you to all our guests and all our listeners and to all futures guests and listeners.
Cristina Amigoni: Thank you for listening to Uncover the Human, a Siamo Podcast.
Alex Cullimore: Special thanks to our podcast operations wizard, Jake Laura, and our score creator, Rachel Sherwood.
Cristina Amigoni: If you have enjoyed this episode, please share, review and subscribe. You can find our episodes wherever you listen to podcasts.
Alex Cullimore: We would love to hear from you with feedback, topic ideas, or questions. You can reach us at email@example.com, or on our website, wearesiamo.com, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook. WeAreSiamo is spelled W-E-A-R-E-S-I-A-M-O.
Cristina Amigoni: Until next time, listen to yourself, listen to others and always uncover the human.