Establishing a shared culture, and connecting with yourself and others is the middle section of the AE Process, which was created by us at Asperger Experts based off of our experience living with Asperger’s 24/7.
The goals of this section are to ensure that your environment is one that supports and assists you (instead of working against you), to learn effective communication skills in order to influence effectively, resolve conflict, navigate the world, and finally, to gain a deeper awareness into how your motivations, emotions, meanings and intents all align through Influence Circles to either help or hinder you in life.
It starts with ensuring that your environment is set-up to assist and support you. That means your physical environment (the built spaces in which you inhabit during the day, such as home, school, and work), your internal environment (your body & mind), and your social environment (the other people around you that inhabit those environments).
So why is creating a supportive atmosphere in each of these environments important? Well, you can get out of Defense Mode and learn to live a great life, but if you live in a dimly lit house that stresses you out because of its clutter, or you live with people that do nothing but degrade and demean you and all you eat is Hot Pockets, then learning the skills to get out of Defense Mode and lead a great life can only take you so far.
Once you ensure your environment meets these conditions, then the next step is to co-create expectations with everyone who you interact with on a daily basis (that usually means people in your family).
Co-creation and communication of expectations needs to happen before we can expect others to follow those expectations. In other words, if little Johnny doesn’t know that homework should come BEFORE video games, and yet you expect that to happen, things won’t go well when you try to enforce this unwritten rule in the moment (because you haven’t told him).
Take time to sit down and set a list of expectations AHEAD of time, so everyone is on the same page. (If you’d like help, our course on setting expectations has specific examples, scripts and suggestions).
The third step in this part of the AE Process is effective communication. When you look at the origin of where the word communication comes from, you find that it really means “to make common”. Effective communication has one job: to ensure that everyone fully understands everyone else. In other words, that there is a shared (or common) understanding of the values, expectations, definitions of words, and cultural rules surrounding a particular environment.
In our work here at AE, we’ve found that the #1 reason why people fight is that they don’t have a common language or shared expectations. You say “Clean your room”, yet your son says “I did” (and he’s not lying). Meanwhile, from your perspective, the room is still extremely messy. So you get angry, because he “SHOULD” know what “clean room” means.
Anger ALWAYS comes from a place of expectations not meeting reality. The way to resolve that is through learning effective communication skills.
Finally, we have aligning your Influence Circles, the last step in this section of the AE Process.
When you look at what the word influence actually means, it means “any outpouring of energy that produces effect”. Understanding and aligning your Influence Circles is the way to ensure that you are working towards and ultimately achieving the intended effect.
Every single day we use influence in our lives. In the world of Asperger Experts, that shows up as the question “How do I get my son/daughter to… take a shower/ stop playing video games/ do homework/ go out in the world/ try a new food/ etc.”.
The answer lies in aligning your emotional content, meanings and intent toward a desired big result. We fully explain this here.
Once you’ve done all of the steps here, it’s time to move onto the final section of The AE Process, “Change”.