Thursday, March 17, 2011

Process over Product

I am a big believer in the mantra, "Process over Product".
(It is one of my favorite topics to discuss with perspective hires.)

Basically it boils down to valuing the experience over the finished product.

A recent easel painting experience is the perfect example of this.

Looking at the finished piece, one would see a yellow piece of paper completely painted orange.  It is not much to look at and probably wouldn't make the "art wall" or refrigerator in most homes.

But the experience this boy had was incredible.  He started off using various painting tools; a dishrag brush, a sponge and a plastic wire toy.  Then he smeared the marks these made on the paper with his hands.  Feeling the texture of the paint, he dipped his hands in the paint tray leaving the brushes aside.

He "drew" on the paper with his fingers, sometimes one, sometimes several.

He erased marks and created new ones.  In between he would squish his hands together and march in place full of excitement.

He would look at the marks up close and from far away and then dive in for more sensory painting.

After a good 15 minutes or more, he finished.  He left his painting on the easel and told us he was done.

And he was.  It wasn't about showing his painting to anyone for some external reward of praise.  The process was his reward.  His experience was joyful.

I am privileged to have noticed this and watched.

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