• Tash Jefferies

Introduction of SPAM Stories - Diversity & Inclusion Nuggets From My Life and Work

[Originally posted on LinkedIn, Sept 25, 2018]

When I was a job seeker, I used to thoroughly enjoy the creation of STAR stories - a storytelling tool that helps you highlight your ability to be a rockstar in the workplace. They consisted of pretty simple, easy to remember pieces : the Situation (what you had to deal with), the Task (what you chose to do), the Action (how you did it), and the Result (what impact did your action have).

These are genius when building concise stories of what you have contributed to your prior or current organization. However, after being an entrepreneur and startup founder for seven years and counting, I wanted to come up with something that brought me that same kind of joy to create… but with a slightly different spin, of having a teachable moment. Welcome the creation of SPAM Stories.

It’s kind of funny to me that its acronym is SPAM, because in this age of technology, SPAM is also what we call mostly useless and unsolicited emails and information. But, we still have to at least check our SPAM folder to make sure we’re not missing any essential or useful information.

This exactly how I view this series of SPAM Stories. They are stories of incidents and moments that happen to me often. And although they may be uncomfortable, awkward, and in many cases cringe-worthy, they leave me with teachable moments that I hope can help anyone reading them to move forward, increase our emotional intelligence, be more empathetic and improve our relationships with others.

I have been both the recipient and creator of these moments - all of us have them, and no one is immune from directly being a part of them, witnessing them, or hearing friends recount their own stories. On that note, once you see how they go, I would love for you to submit your own SPAM Stories, and I will be more than happy to publish them!

So here’s how it works: SPAM Stands for:

Situation - What happened that was a moment that either made your head spin, left you speechless, or made you feel overcome with a flood of emotions.

Preconceived Result - What do you think was the intended result or outcome of the situation? Keep in mind this is usually always a positive outcome, so try to think of the best, positive situation that was well intended.

Actual Result - What did the situation really make you feel? In many cases, this really is the opposite of what either party intended.

Moral, Moment of Questioning and Move Forward Action - As with any great story, there is always a lesson learned, teachable moment, or something that all of us can learn to do (or not to do) so that we all have an opportunity to become more empathetic, open-minded people.

In my next post, I’ll start off with my first example. I think I have enough to fill a book, so I’m going to have fun with this! I hope you enjoy them too :).

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