Influence is Your Superpower with Guest Expert Zoe Chance

Ep: 231

Do you wish that your perspective, opinion, and your voice carried more power? 

The feeling that your words lack influence is common among women, and the long-term effects of this feeling of powerlessness can greatly influence your path in life. 

Digging deeper into where this feeling comes from is an important step toward harnessing your ability to speak up and gain greater control over your life.

You can reclaim your voice and turn it into your superpower! 

Today on The Bridge to Fulfillment®, Blake Schofield welcomes Zoe Chance. She’s a writer, teacher, researcher, and climate philanthropist. She has an MBA from USC, a doctorate from Harvard, and teaches the most popular course at Yale School of Management. Her bestselling book is called Influence Is Your Superpower.

In this episode, you’ll understand the deeper roots of confidence and hear the real reason why you might be lacking the influence you wish you had. You’ll learn a mindset trick to help you get more comfortable with rejection, paving the way toward rebuilding confidence and learning resilience. You’ll also learn how to start building your influence superpower.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Recognizing the real reasons why you might lack influence (4:43)
  • Why shyness is really a reaction to trauma (9:31)
  • Proof that you’re better liked than you think you are (18:38)
  • The keys to building your capacity for influence (24:54)
  • Why women bear the cultural burden of saying “yes” (28:58)

Favorite Quotes:

  1. I literally believed when I was a child that my voice was the same frequency as the ambient sounds of the universe, and that’s why people talked over me when I spoke. – Zoe Chance
  2. Perfectionism and shyness are actually responses to trauma. They’re responses to things that happen in our childhood that lead us to believe it’s unsafe to speak or it’s unsafe to make mistakes. – Blake
  3. To truly come into your greatest potential value and purpose, you have to strip away the things that you’re conditioned into and the belief systems that formed the trauma. And when you do that, you can come back to the wholeness of who you always were. – Blake
  4. Being able to speak and be listened to is something that sounds so small, and it’s simple, but it’s much more profoundly impactful than a lot of people recognize. – Zoe Chance
  5. The first person who comes to our mind when we need something is much more likely to be a woman than a man… so there’s all this male generosity that is potentially being wasted. And there’s all this female burnout that is unnecessary. – Zoe Chance

Additional Resources:

Connect with Zoe Chance:

Rather than hoping the grass will be greener, identify what the RIGHT next step is.
We can help you do just that.

Get clarity on where you are on your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optional paths to get there, and the right next step to take.

Start your complimentary, Personalized Career Fulfillment Plan by going to

Want free resources to set your job search up for success? You can get them by going to:

For other programs and opportunities to work with Blake, go to


Zoe Chance 0:04
Girls still tend to be trained more with your texts about good girl habits, which is essentially the same as like good student habits, that we get trained to try to please teachers, that we do the things that we’re supposed to do. And then we wait to be recognized and we wait to get the good grades. And we’re not supposed to be advocating for ourselves although some kids and parents do. And then women even more than men go into the workforce with these good student habits that don’t help us get ahead in an environment where power goes to the people who ask for it, and advocate for it and learn how it operates.

Blake Schofield 1:02
Hi, I’m Blake Schofield, founder and CEO of The Bridge to Fulfillment®, mom to three, USA Today top 10 professional coach, and former corporate executive who got tired of sacrificing my life for a comfortable paycheck. My mission is to expand women’s perspectives and empower them to achieve greater impact at home and work without sacrifice. This is The Bridge to Fulfillment®.

Blake Schofield 1:36
On today’s episode of The Bridge to Fulfillment®, I interview Zoe Chance. She’s a writer, teacher, researcher and climate philanthropist. Her best selling book is called Influence is Your Superpower. She’s an MBA for USC, a doctorate from Harvard and teaches the most popular course at Yale School of Management. Her research has been published in top journals and covered in global media, and she speaks on TV and around the world. Before joining academia, Zoe managed a $200 million segment of Barbie helps with political campaigns and worked in door to door sales. Zoe is authentic, fun, and vulnerable, and sharing her personal journey of learning how to overcome her shyness and lack of feeling like her voice really matter, into using that and turning it around to be a superpower and helping others learn how to use their voice to make a bigger difference and ask for what it is that they truly want. Really excited for this episode. And I hope you find as much value out of it as I do.

Blake Schofield 2:46
Welcome, Zoe, I’m so excited to spend time with you today.

Zoe Chance 2:50
Thank you, Blake for inviting me, glad to get to talk with you.

Blake Schofield 2:53
Yeah, I’m so excited for what you’re going to be able to share with our audience. But before we dive into talking about how influence is a superpower, and really providing some insight to help people learn how to become more influential. Can you just share a little bit about yourself, a little bit about your background? And how did you end up in the path that you’re in today?

Zoe Chance 3:13
Sure, I was a kid who grew up as a really shy nerd. And in households that was kind of Bohemian poor, I felt and was very uninfluential. Men have the communication skills that help us be influential came naturally. So I studied this consciously and intentionally and then being a nerd ended up after going into industry, going back to school and doing my PhD. And now I research and teach influence at Yale School of Management. And the book that I’ve recently published, Influence is Your Superpower is based on the course that I teach at Yale.

Blake Schofield 3:50
I love it. And you went through it so quickly. But I know that there’s probably pieces of golden hidden in there. I too, was extremely shy as a child. In fact, my sister used to talk for me all of the time. So when she went to live with my dad, and I stayed with my mom, starting in fifth grade, sort of this crisis of oh my gosh, I have to learn how to speak for myself. And I know that you and I are likely not alone in that. But beyond that, right, this period of I am shy, but then I come from an environment where I don’t have people in my life who have this skill. And I’m not sitting in a situation where I can learn that. Obviously for you it was a process of learning. So what were the first couple of maybe signs or symptoms that you realized that the lack of understanding how to influence was actually standing in your way?

Zoe Chance 4:42
I misdiagnosed the problem, where what I literally believed when I was a child was that my voice was the same frequency as the ambient sounds of the universe. And that’s why people talked over me when I spoke, and I was just so shy that I spoke really, really quietly, and very reluctantly. So people didn’t notice me. And I ended up deciding to try out theatre. And I auditioned for a play in which everyone was guaranteed a speaking role. And I knew that if I were on stage, people would have to listen to me. And that was a children’s production of Aladdin. I was not Aladdin or Jasmine, I was cobbler number three, and my one line was shoes for sale, I had a mustache and affairs. And this was the beginning of me, trying out theater, to be someone else, in order to learn how to be comfortable being myself. And it turned out eventually, that a lot of the skills that I learned through training and acting and then later directing ended up being very, very helpful for teaching public speaking, also sales and for me to be coaching other people on skills of influence and charisma and things like that. And I wonder Blake with you growing up? I don’t know if your mom you said you lived with your mom, right? And I don’t know if she ended up getting remarried or if you were growing up with a single mom. But with your mission of women’s empowerment being a big piece of this, as I understand it, what message did you get related to that from your mom?

Blake Schofield 6:30
Yeah, it’s interesting, I often talk about that my mother did remarry, very blessed to have two dads, and I’m very blessed to be able to say that. But when I was younger, I read a lot. So I don’t know if I would call myself a nerd. Maybe I read a lot. And so I had a really adult vocabulary really early on, which is challenging when you couple that was shyness. But I’ll never forget one of the most difficult moments in my childhood, we were at Taco Bueno. They don’t have these anymore. I recently looked it up for my teenage son. I wanted an apple buena, which is like this amazing desserts like cinnamon and apples, so good. And my mom refused to order it for me because she thought the best thing she could do was forced me out of my comfort zone so that I had to speak. And I remember standing at that like silver barrier, you know, silver barrier they have when you go through the you’re inside the fast food place. And I thought I was going to die, like the thought of having to ask the person up at the front for a dessert was just terrifying. And I think it was maybe seven or eight and it’s seared in my brain, like the torture of that moment.

Zoe Chance 7:36
Did you ask?

Blake Schofield 7:37
No, I did not. And there were moments in my childhood like that, where I think my parents and at the time, we knew a lot less, we didn’t know that shyness was actually a reaction to trauma, we just thought it was a personality trait. And so there were many moments when I was younger, that my parents tried to put me in situations where I would have to speak. But ultimately, when I was about 10, or 11, my mom saw the leadership opportunity. And she put me in an organization where I had the opportunity I had to do speaking you had parts, I guess, so to speak, you know, and you would move up the ladder of these to get to be president of the organization and you’re speaking in the room, but every single person had speaking parts that you had to memorize and you had to do. And it was through that process that I very quickly sort of progressed my way up by 12. I was president of the chapter that I had, the next year, I was in the Grand Order grand assembly doing that. And it started to help me get out of my shell in terms of speaking. So for me, it was similar in that there was an opportunity. And I’m very thankful that my mom saw that leadership opportunity in me and saw that, like I needed that push, because I didn’t realize at the time how unusual that was to be 12 and precedent about an organization. But it became the foundation of leadership, my ability to see and understand people’s inherent value. And I started studying really young, I was fascinated by people, what made people tick, what made them successful. And it was through that journey. I think of my own personal experience having to overcome a lot of fears and anxieties and doubts. That really was the beginning part of what I do today.

Zoe Chance 9:13
What you said about shyness being a reaction to trauma. You said that as though like this is something that everybody understands, but I’ve actually never heard that before. Can you just say a little bit more about that?

Blake Schofield 9:26
Yes. So with something I uncovered through my own personal journey, I think many people like if you hear about perfectionism, that used to really be me. People just believe these things are like their eye color. So I used to say I’m a type A perfectionist, that’s who I am. I am just shy. That’s who I am. But perfectionism, shyness, those are actually responses to trauma, their responses to things that happen in our childhood that lead us to believe it’s unsafe to speak, or it’s unsafe to make mistakes. And so as a result of that very, very early on, in our belief system, we began to use those beliefs, and then it changes how we behave. And so growing up, I had no idea actually didn’t uncover that until the last six years or so, I have this I’ve gotten really deep and understanding this, that I was not born shy, it was a result of the environment. And as a result of the environment, I came to believe that it was better, that I wasn’t heard, that I wasn’t a burden. And then that created sort of that experience.

Zoe Chance 10:35
Wow, thank you for sharing that, I can definitely relate to that. And that’s going to be something that I’m coming back to and thinking about, it’s very profound. And it makes a lot of sense. And I can’t have any idea for anyone else who grew up in this way. But it certainly resonates to me that pattern that you’re talking about.

Blake Schofield 10:54
I’m glad and thank you for stopping. Sometimes I forget, I like you go down rabbit holes. And so I’ve been studying this very, very deeply, I come to find in doing a lot of the work I’ve done in the last six years that to truly come into your greatest potential value and purpose, you have to strip away the things that are we’re conditioned into you the belief systems, you formed the trauma, big T and little t that you experienced. And when you do that, you can come back to the wholeness of who you always were. And there’s something incredibly cathartic and beautiful about that. And I think so much of our society is stuck, because they don’t feel that they have the ability to create change in their life, or things are just the way that they are. But I have found that that’s very rarely true.

Zoe Chance 11:43
Thank you for that. And it’s not just something that you say, but this is what you do, and you encourage and support that for so many people in your work. So thank you.

Blake Schofield 11:52
Thank you, same for you. Because your life is a testament to the ability to transform. And the ability to recognize that who you were isn’t always who you have to be. And so today, you’re using your journey and your experience to help influence and change the lives of other people. And that’s super powerful. So I’m excited to have you here to talk a little bit more about how you do that. I love hearing a little bit about your journey in, in the arts as a way to do it. And it’s interesting that you that to that point, it’s interesting to me that you chose to do it from a place of being someone else first, which links back to what I was saying earlier about the childhood trauma in some way that was safer, likely for you. And then through the journey, you started to see the benefits of learning the skill. So you said early on you miss perceived what it was you thought, you know, it was one thing it was another. At what point did something clicked for you, and you said, I want to learn how to be good at this.

Zoe Chance 12:54
I got to have a summer camp experience. Between sixth and seventh grade where I went, I grew up in Virginia. And there was a summer enrichment program at the University of Virginia that was fully funded, so anybody could get to go. And I don’t know how you got invited, but it was probably through school. And this was the first time that I had ever been around a bunch of other nerdy kids. And it was only nerdy kids. And this was a nerdy summer camp where we did do outdoor stuff. But we did science and we did forensic science and intense journalism and things. What you could do was take more classes because you loved school, and you wanted to take more classes over the summer. But being in a group of kids who loved school, took away all of these social pressures that I didn’t know that I had been experiencing. And we weren’t worried about trying to be cool with each other. And it was cool to love school. And I think it’s been different. Now like, culturally, it’s changing. Definitely for my daughter. It’s cool to love school, at least at the school she goes to so it’s not a concern. At my school, it was not cool to love school. And I got to experience what it could feel like among these other nerds who loved school to just be a kid, and just have fun and make friends and not be experiencing social judgment one way or another. So I came back and I wanted to have more of that. I wanted to have more friends. And one of the things that I did, so it was over a series of years, but one of the things I did like was in 10th grade, because I loved reading so much. Like all through elementary school. I would stay in during recess and just read books with my best friend who loved reading books. But then in 10th grade I said I want to have friends. And so I’m not going to read books for the entire year, except whatever is assigned in English, and I freed up a lot of time in my life, by not reading books because I was obsessively reading books, and that was the year that I challenged myself to learn how to make friends. And it’s not like I was reading books about how to make friends, but I had been training in theater for years by now.

Zoe Chance 15:16
It’s not a coincidence that kids talk about theater nerds, because most of the kids who are drawn to theater are nerds, most of them are socially awkward. And I don’t mean every kid who everyone listening, I’m not saying your theater nerd kid is actually a nerd. But it is an environment that draws socially awkward people because we can feel more comfortable, not having to be ourselves. And if we experience social judgment, it’s not us. It’s some other character. And a lot of us have learned self expression by stepping away from ourselves. And by putting ourselves in a challenging situation of being on stage and being heard and seen by other people. It’s scary, and can be transformative. And it’s a really great basis for doing future public speaking as an adult. And for those of us who never become comfortable doing public speaking, it hampers our career in most of the industries that we’re in, if we’re ambitious, and working in large organizations. So at my kid’s elementary school, they trained kids to go onstage and speak in front of a room of 120 kids and adults, twice a year, starting at age four. So this was all through elementary school, from age four to 12. Every kid speaks in front of a room of kids and adults, twice a year, and they make it easy, they have a microphone, they have a script, they have a teacher to whisper into their ear if they can’t read the script very well. And the kids come out of this with an incredible level of confidence. So being able to speak and be listened to is something that sounds so small, and it’s simple, but it’s much more profoundly impactful than a lot of people recognize.

Blake Schofield 17:09
I completely see and hear what you’re saying. And it’s interesting in my work, what I consistently see is the the tie of being undervalued, and relationships undervalued in your career undervalued by your boss, often linked back to a lack of understanding about your own value, a lack of confidence in being able to speak, and often a lot of again, fears, conditioning that we’ve been carrying around since our childhood that leads us to believe it’s unsafe to speak up, it’s unsafe to do these things. And it sounds like both that was something I overcame, and you overcame. So I’m interested to hear your perspective now that you know, started off and you began to identify, hey, there is a safe place for me to speak. And hey, I can focus on making friends and my voice does matter. From there, then you really started taking it into your career and diving way deeper. And so as you’ve gone down the rabbit hole, as I like to say, because those of us that become experts in things, especially when you’re an avid learner, and curious and it sounds like you and I both have that same level of curiosity. That’s what always drives me. You dive deep. And then you come back up and you go, Oh, I see it totally differently now. What would you share with somebody who’s listening today that says I would love to become better in influencing and I don’t feel like I’m good at it.

Zoe Chance 18:38
Since we’ve started talking about really fundamental things about our psychology and self perception. I’ll just start with a finding that could help some listeners feel more comfortable about trying things out. And this is on what social scientists called the liking gap. And this is based on many experiments where strangers meet each other. And then researchers like Erica Boothby is one of the main ones who’s done this work, will ask after the conversation. Hey, how much did you like that person? And how much do you think they liked you? And the liking gap on average is 12% were people like you 12% more than you realize. So for someone who doesn’t feel already comfortable about this, just knowing actually, you are more likeable and charming and better liked than you think that you are, may help with the little bit of confidence that it takes to step outside your comfort zone and I love that your mom was pushing you to do that. And I know it might not have been always in the perfect, most graceful ways, but the intention there was so beautiful and this is so such a big thing that we can do for our children to help them take baby steps outside their comfort zone in order to expand their comfort zone. Then this is what I try I have to do with my students, we have a series of real world challenges, where we’re taking baby steps and baby steps and baby steps outside our comfort zone. It’s not a coincidence that students call my class doing uncomfortable things that make you a better person.

Blake Schofield 20:15
I love that so much. I love that so much because all growth happens outside the comfort zone. And I think there’s a quote I often say, from Virginia Satir, most people prefer the certainty of misery, to the misery of uncertainty. And it isn’t that powerful.

Zoe Chance 20:36

Blake Schofield 20:37
It’s that fear of what will come if I do this thing that often keeps us trapped right in that comfort zone. And when you’re in your comfort zone, you can never challenge if your beliefs, your fears, your experience are true or not. We have to be willing to take a step out or ask the question or seek feedback, or put ourselves out there in order to start to challenge what we believe to be true.

Zoe Chance 21:04
Yeah, absolutely. And for people who are unsure about practicing stepping outside of your comfort zone more than you already do. A ninja mindset trick with this is that you can challenge yourself to practice rejection. So if you are going out and seeking rejection, where your goal is to get rejected, trying to do or ask for something that you care about, you cannot fail. Because if you got rejected, you succeeded. And if you failed to get rejected, you got or did that thing that you wanted. And so that can take a lot of the pressure out of it. And then if you add an additional friend or group of people into the process, where there’s some social support, it can actually become a fun thing. It’s not that it’s not still scary to go out and face rejection, but it’s much easier.

Blake Schofield 21:58
Hmm, I love that. It’s such a simple way to do it. And I’ll add to that, because again, most people don’t understand, one of our greatest fears actually, is rejection and abandonment, comes again from childhood. So often, when you are scared of having the conversation with the friend or your boss, your body actually goes into fight or flight, it thinks it’s in danger. For real like your body and your mind. You’re like, I’m in danger. If I do this thing, something terrible is going to happen to me. And so I love the exercise that you’re talking about. Because what it does is it helps you experience Oh, that’s not true.

Zoe Chance 22:35
You mean that’s not true. Like I’m not going to die.

Blake Schofield 22:38
I’m not going to die. Right? Somebody rejected me and nothing bad happens. I went and had that tough conversation with my boss that I’ve been dreading. And he didn’t fire me. Right? Maybe I even got what I wanted. And so again, sometimes we have to be willing to slow down enough to recognize what are we experiencing in this moment. So I love your exercise of like, do this and experience it and you start to shift the experience of your life. But I would also add to that, right? Recognize and stop and ask yourself when you’re fearful of speaking up or asking for what you want or rejection. Am I reacting in a way that I’m actually in danger? And then am I really like, what’s the worst thing that can happen? And when you can begin to see that your brain, as I like to say is a liar, you can begin to start to change the trajectory of your life.

Zoe Chance 23:34
That’s so so, so important. And to add on to that I find it helpful to set the expectation that it might still be painful. So getting practice and building resilience in this way. What it does is it shortens the length of time that you feel this intense feeling of flight, scared, nervous and pain, our brain processes, social rejection in the same way that it processes physical pain. And just like researchers have found in studies of physical resilience with mice and studies in the military, when we face repeated danger, it diminishes the length of our fear. But we may still have that fear, we may still have that painful experience. But when we know that it’s not going to last as long, it’s easier for us to go out and do that and put ourselves in the difficult situation. And then also, if we expect that it might not be comfortable still to get rejected, it might still hurt. We won’t be criticizing ourselves later if it does.

Blake Schofield 24:42
So good. When you look at the key tenants for somebody to build their superpower of influence, what are the key things or the key skills that they need to learn?

Zoe Chance 24:54
The first one is really just through practice. and reflection, internalizing the idea that you can and you should be influential. And that if you decide not to embrace that path, and that practice, the more of us who do that, the more of the world and the power in the world we leave to power hungry people who do embrace that path. So what I see a lot is that it’s the kindest people who are the most reluctant to study and practice influence. And the most selfish greedy people have no reluctance whatsoever. So it is a collective good for us to learn and practice skills of influence. And it starts with the simplest things like asking and saying no, and I’ll share just a weird, counterintuitive practice about saying no, and this is the first challenge we do for class that listeners might want to practice 24 hours of No. When you practice saying no for an entire day, to every single person who asks you or invites you to do something, you get to experience that fear of rejecting somebody having them feel this pain, the social awkwardness, most of us are people pleasers, even more than we realize. And in that position, where you’re the one saying no, also that they didn’t kill you fire, you die, get heartbroken, killed themselves, that it’s actually okay. Everybody lives. And when you get more comfortable saying no to other people, you get more comfortable with the idea of them saying no to you. And when you’re more comfortable with that, you have less fear of rejection. And so you go and you’re advocating for yourself and your ideas and projects and other people in a gentler way that sparks less resistance. And what that means is that other people are more inclined to say yes to you, which started way back with you saying no to other people. So it’s not an obvious trajectory. But once I explained it, and then once you practice it, you become more influential by saying no. How do you feel, Blake, about saying no, in your own life?

Blake Schofield 27:17
It was something I struggled with very much early on. And I would say more so early on in my career, I had the perspective. And I think a lot of people who are heart centered care about others want to make a difference, spend a lot of time focusing on becoming competent, doing a good job. And with that, I used to have this perspective that that meant I needed to say yes to whatever my boss wanted. And often I find that that is a very consistent pattern with so many people I work with, and not recognizing that you have the ability I call it to lead the leader, how can you influence others to create the change that you want to create, to remove the barriers that are in your way, to allow yourself to have the boundaries, or structure or the resources you need to be successful? And so today, I have no problem at all telling people No, I recognize that every single Yes, I say is a no to something else. And I didn’t used to realize that I used to want to do everything because I believed that if I didn’t do everything, either I would be seen as not a team player, I would be seen as incompetent, I would be seen as somebody who wasn’t dedicated, I would be seen as a bad friend. And I think that that’s very consistent, especially for women that we’ve been brought up to try and take care of everybody else, and be quote unquote, good girls versus doing the things and understanding that when we put in boundaries, and when we respect ourselves, other people will respect us.

Zoe Chance 28:54
Amen. Have power, do you? Yes, yes. And this is such a bigger burden for women than it is for men and cultural expectations that women will say yes, are higher. So people, women and men were more comfortable asking women when we need something so women get asked more often. And women are not supposed to say no. And so women say yes more often. And so women take on all of these burdens of emotional labor at home and at work. So unnecessarily. So, as we’re practicing asking more, it’s also really important to be mindful of the fact that the first person who comes to our mind when we need something is much more likely to be a woman than a man. So to second guess, who is it that we’re going to ask? And there’s all this male generosity that is going it’s potential that’s being wasted. And there’s all this female burnout that is unnecessary, because we’re just not realizing that we’re asking women so much more and so much more often than we’re asking men.

Blake Schofield 29:58
Oh, I love where you’re headed with this, I’m gonna ask you a couple of questions. I see this all the time, and I see a big piece of it and that women don’t ask for what they want or need. And therefore, the men in their lives, whether at home or at work, and assist them. I’m interested since you’re teaching, right young minds. What are you seeing? And do you see that any of those things different as you’re teaching your classes? And how do you talk about that from a gender standpoint, because I think often we talk about that women are still behind in pay, women are so clearly behind in terms of leadership positions, and a lot of people have a lot of perspectives about how to create that change. But I know it’s not a simple fix, it’s a lot of things. So I’m interested in your perspective, and what you’ve learned.

Zoe Chance 30:49
Absolutely not a simple fix a lot of things. I’m heartened by the fact that the pay gap is closing and the negotiation gap is closing. So while women are less comfortable with and less likely to negotiate, there are more younger women who are doing that than their parents and grandparents did. And we still have a ways to go. And girls still tend to be trained more with, you talks about good girl habits, which is essentially the same as like good student habits, that we get trained to try to please teachers, that we do the things that we’re supposed to do. And then we wait to be recognized. And we wait to get the good grades. And we’re not supposed to be advocating for ourselves, although some kids and parents do. And then women, even more than men go into the workforce with these good student habits that don’t help us get ahead in an environment where power goes to the people who asked for it, and advocate for it, and learn how it operates. And while teachers are supposed to be carefully evaluating each student and their performance, bosses are busy with their own job, it’s not like it’s their full time job to mentor you for your growth. And even the best best managers, the kindest, and most responsive managers are typically being reactively. And reflexively helpful.

Zoe Chance 32:22
So if I am waiting for the people I lead to come to me and to ask for things. And I’m helpful, and I give them to the people who ask, then I’m rewarding the people who asked who tend to be people with privilege already. And this is socio economic privilege, or race or gender or wherever this comes from people who are more comfortable, you know, you’re a native speaker, or you grew up in that country. But what happens is that the people who have less, are less likely to ask. And then because of this reinforcing loop, where we reward the people who ask also, then those people are trained to ask more. And we end up as good managers expanding the gap rather than shrinking it. So like I had a an executive in a workshop with me recently, we were talking about this asking gap. And she said, Oh, my God, the person on my team who just came back from maternity leave, I ended up creating a situation that was awful, of inequity, where she asked, Hey, my baby, it’s three month maternity leave at their organization. She said, My baby’s still not sleeping through the night. And I’m just wondering if it’s possible that I could work remotely for the next month. And so her manager is like, yes, totally, of course, no problem. But then the two most recent people who went on parental leave, said, Oh, my God, what are you talking about? Why didn’t we get to do that? Because, of course, like, nobody’s baby’s sleeping through the night, at three months. Right. And so they didn’t know that they could ask for this. It didn’t occur to them. And then the good kind manager has actually gotten people angry by creating inequality.

Blake Schofield 34:04
Yeah, but I didn’t know I could ask, I think is so huge, so huge. Because at the end of the day, what I found is you can’t create the life you want, if you’re not willing to ask for it, to seek for something different, to identify what you really want and be able to articulate and communicate it. And it’s a huge part of why I see so many people unfulfilled. I mean, I started my career out in HR. And I remember looking around thinking, these people all seem miserable. Why in the world are these people continuing to come to work every day, they clearly hate what they’re doing. And ultimately write have spent the last six years really diving deep and understanding Oh, so much of it is fear. And so much of it is feeling like there’s no way to create that change. And so much of it is not actually understanding who am I? What are my gifts and what else can I do? And how can I do that in a way that doesn’t create risk for my family or what I’ve already work so hard for. But even that starts with asking, like, how could it be different? What could I have that’s different than what my life is today?

Zoe Chance 35:09

Blake Schofield 35:10
What a fun conversation this has been and such a pleasure to have you today. And I think you brought so many great simple perspectives, simple things that our listeners can do to begin to learn to use their voice, overcome fears of rejection, and start to influence more. With that said, I always like to end and ask, is there anything I didn’t ask you that I should have? Or anything that’s just really on your heart that you want to share with the audience, before we wrap up for today?

Zoe Chance 35:40
I love talking with groups of women. And the food for thought that I’d like to put out there for people to consider is for any moms of daughters to imagine, who is the woman that you hope your daughter would grow up to be? And what is a small change that you could make in your own behavior to go in that direction. And I think a lot of times, it’s easier for us to be more generous with our daughters than we are with ourselves. And this might be true for moms of sons and for aunts of children. So I don’t mean to be restricting this idea to moms of daughters, but just when you think of someone that you love, who you would like to develop and encourage, what do you hope that they would become? And what’s a tiny thing that you could do in that direction?

Blake Schofield 36:34
That’s beautiful. You know, it’s an interesting thing, my three kiddos, 18, holy cow, how do I have an adult child, I still look back and say, How did that happen? 18, 15, and 10. And the one thing I can say, despite the fact that I started studying this stuff in 10, 12, 15, is I wish I had done more of my personal journey earlier on, you know, before I had kids, or earlier on as a parent, because I was so overwhelmed with my job and stress and trying to make sure I was successful, and could support my family that I don’t think I spent as much time as I wished that I had, when my kids were younger to ask that exact same question that you had. Ultimately, my oldest was 12 when I left corporate America, and I spent the last six years saying, Hey, all these things that I did, don’t do that. Right? Remember, when mom was doing XYZ, you don’t have to look that way. And I think a piece of it can be easier. To your point, it can be easier to give grace and say, Who do I want that child to become? And what do I want them to learn? And then secondarily, I would ask if you’re willing to do that for them? Are you also willing to do it for yourself? And if you’re not, right, why? Because we are equally worthy of what we will do for our husbands, our children, our employees, our team? We deserve that too. And so just a beautiful thing about what is it you want for them? And then the secondary? How can I also give that to myself?

Zoe Chance 38:08
Yeah. And I’d like to challenge people to even question that notion of being deserving. What if you didn’t have to be deserving? What if you just let go of that idea of who is or isn’t deserving? And what makes somebody deserving or not? And what if you just got to be blessed?

Blake Schofield 38:27
So good, so good. On that note, I would love to be able to share with our listeners how they might be able to find you and I might be able to find your book. So can you share a little bit with us about the easiest way to do that?

Zoe Chance 38:41
Sure thing my book is called Influence is Your Superpower. And it’s just come out in paperback. It’s out in, I don’t know how many languages yet, but 28 will be all together. So it’s not difficult to find if you just look up Influence is Your Superpower. And if you’d like to connect with me, I have a website But you can also just connect with me on LinkedIn. And I’d be happy to, Zoe Chance.

Blake Schofield 39:03
Wonderful, thank you so much, Zoe, this has been such a fun conversation and I’m excited to see how our listeners take this to move forward in their lives.

Zoe Chance 39:12
Thank you, Blake, for this conversation and for the work that you do.

Blake Schofield 39:21
Thanks for joining me today. Rather than hope the grass will be greener, identify what the right next step is. We can help you do just that. Get clarity on where you are in your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optimal paths to get there, and the right next step to take. Start your complimentary personalized career fulfillment plan at Again, you can get your personalized career fulfillment plan at Thanks again for joining and have a great week ahead!