How Should Leaders/Managers/Executives Handle Escalations?

Some managers feel they need to be CC’d on any communication/issue that goes across departments. Keeping managers informed on things that matter to them is always important. But once you CC them on a complaint, it is considered an escalation.


Managers/Executives, how good are you in spotting escalated communications/email that only show one side? How you respond to these emails, is critical in setting the right culture for your organization.


  • Did the individuals have a conversation with the person before it was escalated?

  • Does the email show the other person's view?

  • Is the other person CC’d on the email?

  • Did the other person know that this issue was being escalated?

  • Is the communication based on facts or opinions?

  • Why did they feel they needed to CC you?

  • Did the person not feel empowered to solve the problem?


If done properly, escalations should be a wonderful experience. Individuals or groups that are not aligned in a certain direction, should be able to reach out together to get additional support and mentoring from Servant Leaders. The leader or leaders can then help add more context and clarity to the issue/problem. Once we decide on a common goal or direction, then it is no longer about the individual. We all commit together. It's not about full consensus but about having a voice and committing together. This approach helps to earn each others respect, even if their idea/view was not considered.

No more back door politics. Lets walk the walk.


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