Regardless of how we may want to dress it up, firing someone is firing someone. A sweeter or more eloquent way of describing the action does not change the ugliness of the action. But the thing is that you need to be clear what you are doing.
Firing someone is definitely not signing an execution letter for a subordinate. Too many times people become unnecessarily compassionate. This results in delays in telling the person once the decision has been made.
As much as you might think that you are doing the best