When to Intervene, When to Leave Alone

I get copied in on many emails at work, and often they relate to tasks or queries that are still open, unresolved. Issues.

It can be difficult to determine whether to intervene and seek to resolve it by speaking to those further up the hierarchy – or just letting it follow its path. Does the author expect me to act on the issue, or are they just ‘keeping me in the loop?’ But why keep me in the loop if not hoping I work on it?

I suppose it’s a form of insurance in case the issue explodes. In case the issue remains unresolved and needs to be legitimately escalated, in which case I will have had all the details.

I’ve found some issues that need immediate intervention.

These are the scenarios that I lean in to before they need escalating:

  1. Issues that put a significant customer at risk of churning.
  2. Issues that show a trend that negatively impacts a range of customers.
  3. Issues that affect the well-being of a team member.

These are the guidelines I use to determine my immediate intervention.