Recruiting people to join your startup is essentially a sales pitch: you're convincing people to sign up for your dream. It's all flowers and chocolates. And while there's a crucial educational component to successful onboarding, it also involves more selling and evangelism for your cause. The hard part comes later, when you have to solicit and provide feedback on performance or fit (this is even more difficult).
Even the most self-aware and self-possessed among us don't like being told that we're not doing a good job, no matter how much positive feedback we might also be hearing. Communicating criticism is a necessary component of providing honest feedback. It's uncomfortable. It can lead to tears and firings and resignations, but it's the most important thing you can do as a CEO, both for yourself and for your team.
There is a variety of ways to give and receive feedback, but I've found it useful to divide all of them into a simple 2 × 2 matrix: informal 1:1s, formal performance reviews, ad hoc hallway chats, and annual 360s.
There are many different opportunities for giving an employee feedback, and there are many types of feedback that you can give. To clarify things, it's helpful to reduce this variety to a simple 2 × 2 matrix: The Feedback Matrix (shown in Figure 11.1).