The Tension to Manage
Truth and kindness is a constant tension to manage. If a team is too truthful, they can be considered as too harsh and uncaring. If a team is too kind, they create a deceptive environment that is actually unsafe because no one knows where they really stand with each other. Politeness is the socially acceptable form of deception.
The trick is to create an environment that encourages truth in a kind way. The hard talks need to happen but there is a way to say them to communicate care AND truth with the goal of getting better together.