Was this possibly said in a situation where someone was being a bit sarcastic or biting in saying it?
I get a vibe of like “Could you, even just a little, take a hint?”
As you said, without the は it would be just a literal “a little” or a softener, something like “Hey, could you be a bit more tactful?” but emphasizing ちょっと with は, the person sounds kind of intense.
If it’s what I’m imagining, that would classify it as the “contrastive” は. Where the person is saying basically “I realize you couldn’t 空気を読む to an extent that is more than a little, but how about just a little?”
In those other examples the stress is more important to determine that it’s a contrastive は, but in this ちょっと sentence it seems easier to discern because は really wouldn’t follow ちょっと for other reasons typically.
In writing, context overall also usually makes it clear what is being meant.