Tischtuch zerschnitten

Der Tischtuch ist zerschnitten. The tablecloth has been ripped in two.

In the German context, to escalate a conflict within the team to the next management level is considered to be a sign of failure. Failure of the conflict parties to resolve their problem. Failure to at least come up with a proposed resolution which they can take to their team lead for her input, and perhaps her decision.

Escalation is the equivalent of going to court, of one party suing the other. For Germans, the severity of such a step just about rules out any chance that the two parties will be able to work together again. And regardless of how their German manager assists in the resolution, regardless of the outcome, she will view her two team members as having failed themselves, the team and her.