Consider the following scenario. Someone is hired for a job and is new to the career field. For instance, a new accountant.
After being an accountant for a very short period of time, and doing an excellent job as a novice, someone encourages the worker by stating "You will be an excellent accountant."
My question is in regards to the statement "You will be an excellent accountant." Does the statement suggest that if the individual will be a good accountant, which would imply that they are not currently doing a good job? Or, does it mean that the individual will be a good accountant, regardless of any good or bad work they have already accomplished?
I ask this question because there have been times where I have actually wanted to encourage people who are novices but show great potential for success because of the good work they have done. One person I know personally is quite keen to respond with "Oh, so I haven't been doing a good job?" which would seem to imply that such as statement denotes that previous work does not fall within the category of "excellence".
I know this question bridges the gaps of English, logic and etiquitte. If there is no simple answer, I am certainly interested on the community's thoughts and suggestions on how to make such a comment without being excessively verbose or awkward.