Encouragement by numbers

I have this on my wall in the office. I copied it off that of a friend, who used to lead a great church in Bracknell. I think the secret of his success as a leader was that he was encouraging of everyone.

101 Ways to Say Very Good

1. You’re on the right track now!
2. You’ve got it made.
4. That’s right!
5. That’s good.
6. You’re really working hard today.
7. You are very good at that.
8. That’s coming along nicely.
10. I’m happy to see you working like that.
11. That’s much, much better!
12. Exactly right.
13. I’m proud of the way you worked today.
14. You’re doing that much better today.
15. You’ve just about got it.
16. That’s the best you’ve ever done.
17. You’re doing a good job.
18. THAT’S IT!
19. Now you’ve figured it out.
20. That’s quite an improvement.
21. GREAT!
22. I knew you could do it.
23. Congratulations!
24. Not bad.
25. Keep working on it.
26. You’re improving.
27. Now you have it!
28. You are learning fast.
29. Good for you!
30. Couldn’t have done it better myself.
31. Aren’t you proud of yourself?
32. One more time and you’ll have it.
33. You really make my job fun.
34. That’s the right way to do it.
35. You’re getting better every day.
36. You did it that time!
37. That’s not half bad.
38. Nice going.
39. You haven’t missed a thing!
40. WOW!
41. That’s the way!
42. Keep up the good work.
44. Nothing can stop you now.
45. That’s the way to do it.
47. You’ve got your brain in gear today.
48. That’s better.
49. That was first class work.
51. :: Return to index of articles :: That’s the best ever.
52. You’ve just about mastered it.
54. That’s better than ever.
55. Much better!
57. You must have been practicing.
58. You did that very well.
59. FINE!
60. Nice going.
61. You’re really going to town.
65. That’s how to handle that.
66. Now that’s what I call a fine job.
67. That’s great.
68. Right on!
69. You’re really improving.
70. You’re doing beautifully!
72. Good remembering.
73. You’ve got that down pat.
74. You certainly did well today.
75. Keep it up!
76. Congratulations. You got it right!
77. You did a lot of work today.
78. Well look at you go.
79. That’s it.
80. I’m very proud of you.
82. I like that.
83. Way to go!
84. Now you have the hang of it.
85. You’re doing fine!
86. Good thinking.
87. You are really learning a lot.
88. Good going.
89. I’ve never seen anyone do it better.
90. Keep on trying.
91. You outdid yourself today!
92. Good for you!
93. I think you’ve got it now.
94. That’s a good (boy/girl).
95. Good job, (person’s name).
96. You figured that out fast.
97. You remembered!
98. That’s really nice.
99. That kind of work makes me happy.
100. It’s such a pleasure to teach when you work like that!
101. I think you’re doing the right thing.

Now some of these are a bit cheesy, I’d take 47 as an insult, and number 24 doesn’t even mean ‘very good’! But the principle of actually speaking praise that is specific and personal is what the list reminds me of. The Bible says we’re to encourage one another DAILY.

It’s become a bit of a standing joke now for Jo the administrator that when she’s done something good, rather than me actually think of something complimentary to say I just tell her to pick a number.

It’s a bit like the joke about the guy who stumbles across a monastery one night, and is invited to join them for dinner. At the end of the meal someone stands up and says, “Number 5!” A few of the other monks titter approvingly.

Another stands up, “Number 15.” One or two smirks and a cough.

“What’s going on here?” Asks the bemused traveller.

“Well we’ve all lived in this community so long together, we know all of each other’s jokes. So rather than go through the long winded business of actually telling them we have numbered them so everyone knows which joke it is.”

“Can I have a go?”

“Sure – go ahead.”

The guest says, “Number 75.”
Sniggers begin, but soon turn to table bashing, tear filled guffaws that last a full ten minutes. Monks hug one another and fall off chairs, it’s a riot!

“Why is everyone laughing so much? Did I tell a good one?”

“We’ve never heard that one before!”

3 thoughts on “Encouragement by numbers

  1. Encouragement!

    Such an understated, underrated, powerful “secret” weapon of the Holy Spirit.

    So many Christians miss an awesome trick in forgetting about the simplicity and effectiveness of encouragement, as they seek after the more glorified, visible and tangible areas of ministry. As many of us focus on what is seen, and home in on those chances to serve where the rewards are immediate and our efforts praised and recognised, we fail to trust that there is another area of Christian ministry and Christlikeness which like an eagle that flies over and targets its prey, is spreading its wings and turning the darkness that “the enemy” is imposing all around us into everlasting light.

    Encouragement: The Holy Spirit’s secret, unassuming Weapon of Mass “Destruction”.

    102. GOD THINKING!


    ransom33 @ http://www.ransom33@wordpress.com

  2. Nice one. (38 and 60 are the same – so this doubles as a suggested replacement)

    There is another variation on the monks joke… The traveller has a go and says: “Number 10”. Silence. He tries again: “Number 23”. Silence. A few embarrassed coughs. Sheepishly he sits down. One of the monks gets up: “Number 18”. They fall about laughing again. “What did I do wrong?” the traveller asks the monk beside him. The monk replied: “It’s the way you tell them.”

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