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Intern-About Is Fair Play

As summer starts to shift toward fall, it’s the time of year in which summer interns depart and fall interns start their work. Former intern Melissa Korn recently shared her insights on part of her internship here at Fast Company, and today, we bid a fond adieu to Shasha Dai, whose contributions to FC Now — and elsewhere on the Web — have been welcome.

In fact, I just sat down with Shasha for a 30-minute exit interview. And instead of offering her feedback and advice, which we did yesterday in the first part of our internship exploration, I asked her to give me feedback and advice. And she did.

Shasha divided her input in terms of how I am as an editor, as a manager, and as a leader. It was an awesome 30 minutes — plenty of affirmation, but also plenty of things I really need to work on and improve as part of the Fast Company team. I caught myself getting defensive here and there and — taking those feelings as a sign that she might be on to something — did my best to truly listen, take in, and digest everything she said. Not all of it was easy — and won’t be easy to improve.

But it got me thinking. When was the last time you sought feedback from someone who worked for you? Our editor in chief did earlier this year — and shared the results with readers. When was the last time you turned to an intern or temp for insight on your work style? When was the last time you used a performance review not to review someone else’s performance — but for them to review your own?

Try it.

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