The Chain of Screaming

In season 3, episode 15, of the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” one of the characters introduces the gang to a workplace phenomenon called the chain of screaming. I’ll let the video clip below do the heavy lifting, but it basically works like this: my boss’s boss screams at my boss, who in turn screams at me, after which I scream at one of my subordinates, and so on.

Although this seems like a clever joke around which to build a 20-minute episode, according to an article published yesterday on, the chain of screaming is real – sort of.

A new study suggests that bullying bosses affect more than just their victim. Researchers polled 233 people from various fields and found that, much like the chain of screaming, victims of a bullying boss often turn into bullies themselves, spreading their discontent through the office like a nasty virus.

Hogan’s own research supports these findings – 75% percent of working adults say the most stressful aspect of their job is their immediate boss.

Fortunately, companies aren’t powerless against the effects of bullying bosses and the disengaged workforces they create. To find out more, check out our free eBook, “Leadership: You’re Doing It Wrong.”