‘In Zen we do not compliment and flatter and build someone up. In Zen we teach the student to do what has to be done.’ (The Path to Bodhidharma)
I can think of a number of old zen stories where the teacher has refused to flatter an important person who was looking for the teaching, and in that way got the message across. It has helped me trust the teaching, to know that we just have to do what has to be done. And what does that look like? What is in front of you right now?