Created by Barney Stinson of the series How I Met Your Mother
The Pyramid of Screaming is a societal rubric that dismisses the parlor tricks of the Chain of Screaming, Scream Ladder, South Beach Screaming, and other methodologies and focuses on the golden rule of scream etiquette: You can only scream beneath you.
To illustrate how it works, here's the scream pyramid for a professional football team:
The Head Coach can't scream at the Owner, but can scream at anyone else. The Quarterback can scream at his teammates, but not at his coaches. And the Punter screams at no one. He's lucky to have a job.
It's no different inside your office, as exemplified by my own corporate scream pyramid:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
PRESIDENT OF FRANCE
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you find yourself at the bottom, don't fret. The beauty of the pyramid is that there's always someone available to be the new foundation. The janitorial crew, the sleepy-eyed security man, or anyone who doesn't speak English are great places to start.
Barney: "Hey! Don't yell at me, remember your place in the Pyramid of Screaming."