Escalations are a means towards a collaborative path forward
How to handle escalations is a critical skill that is needed by every manager/leader to run a successful team. Teams get blocked by conflicting priorities and sometimes need escalations to help in decision-making. Escalations are a means towards a collaborative path forward. But you need to know when to escalate. Don’t use it as a weapon. Do not escalate every encountered issue, only escalate those issues that have a sizeable impact.
To Escalate or Not?
There will always be conflicts. Having clarity around team vision and goals is imperative for resolving deadlock-type situations. Your top priority as a leader is to prevent petty escalations. Not every conflict deserves to be escalated. Empower team members to own their problems. Create a culture of collaborative problem solving and nip unnecessary conflicts in the bud. Know when to escalate. Assess the impact. What is the risk? Can it be mitigated? Who can be the decision-maker? How do you want this to be communicated?
Use ideas and tips from my blog on Strategies for Effective Communications to build a culture of collaboration and cohesion.
Establish an Escalation Path and Mechanism
Agree on the problem
Clearly state the asks
Follow up is key
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