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Why Career Coaches Won't Stop Telling You to Stand Like Wonder Woman

The research behind the power pose might be under attack, but the career-advice industry won't quit.
Animation: Steph Davidson

Until recently, the power pose had all the makings of viral self-help success: a catchy name, the second-most-popular TED Talk of all time, and best of all, the science to back it up. All you had to do was stand like a powerful person for a few minutes, and you would become a powerful person. But can a simple idea, once absorbed into the maw of the workplace-advice industry, survive even when the science doesn't hold up?

"I use them still," said Carla Sorey-Reed, an executive coach and the founder and chief executive officer of Women Uninterrupted. Her trust in the power pose remained undimmed four weeks after the psychological research underpinning the idea started to crumble in public. "I do it! When I'm meeting a new client," Sorey-Reed said, "I will go into the ladies room, close the door, and do a power pose."