Everything changed the moment Doug walked into the adult day care center where my wife volunteered. He had worked in management until his late fifties until he suffered a stroke. Now he could no longer work, and his every day speaking skills were limited. But the new realities from the stroke did not limit Doug in encouraging others.
Within two weeks of Doug’s arrival, the entire day care working environment had changed dramatically for the better – although it had always been a good place to work. Clients and team members waited with anticipation for Doug’s arrival each day.
Intrigued by the good reports, I paid a visit to see what was happening. As soon as my wife introduced me to Doug, he pointed at her and said, “Good job.” Doug didn’t just say this to my wife but to everyone with whom he interacted. “Good job,” he’d say – powerful words of encouragement.
“Have you always been this encouraging to people?” a member of the team asked Doug.
“What happened health wise to me shouldn’t change who I am,” he answered.
The highlight for me was the day my wife invited me to hear Elvis Presley sing at the adult day care center. Right after Elvis finished his first song, Doug walked up to him in front of the audience and sad, “Good job.” He repeated this behavior throughout the “concert.”
Doug’s ongoing affirmations of the singer made Elvis so excited he stayed much longer than originally planned. I heard Elvis songs that day he had seldom performed in public – and a few I had never heard. With such enthusiastic encouragement and support from Doug, the Elvis impersonator kept right on singing.
The adult day care center soon wove the phrase “Good job” into their DNA. Team members, clients, family members, and other visitors frequently used the phrase – all inspired by Doug.
Still today, I smile as I picture Doug and recall the unexpected and unforgettable positive effects from his wonderful modeling of two very special and life changing words.