Want to know a great way to make me want to work with you again? Don’t be the bottleneck on the project. What do I mean by that?

Let’s say we are building something and we each have a part that needs to be done. We’re building a dog house that needs 4 walls, a door and a roof. You’re in charge of the door and we can’t put the roof on until the door is done. You’re the bottleneck if we have to stop and wait for you to finish your door.

Don’t be that bottleneck. How can I prevent that, you ask? I’d be happy to share some tips.

1) Know all the interrelated parts of the project and what parts are dependent upon each other 2) Think about the least amount you can do to get your part ready. Do we only need to cut out the door and put hinges on it before hanging it and putting on the roof? Then do that first and worry about sanding and painting it later. 3) Anticipate how long your things will take and how long everyone else’s will. This is hard and takes experience both with what you are working on and who you are working with. Cindy and Beth could each have wildly different completion times.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are the bottleneck, sometimes you can’t help it. But you definitely get the gold star if you find a way to prevent it. And you get an awesome feeling of satisfaction when someone else tells you she is done with her part and asks you how quickly you can be done with yours and you say “I’ll have it to you later this morning.”