Being smarter than other people has many significant advantages when it comes to competing or combating against them, but with strategy, the intellectually superior can certainly be defeated.
It’s no easy feat – it takes motivation, dedication and a street smart mindset. Whether you’re a spy, soldier, cop or just trying to stay ahead of your competition in business, engaging people smarter than you is inevitable but outmaneuvering them is feasible.
Intelligent VS Adaptable
Outmaneuvering adversaries much smarter than you is no different than a smaller and skinnier fighter winning against a much taller and bigger fighter.
The seemingly inferior fighter realizes they must adapt to overcome the seemingly superior fighter, and thus finds a way to win by adapting to the situation.
Their larger size and muscle build is a definite advantage but it doesn’t mean a definitive victory.
Unless it’s a literal IQ test or weight lifting challenge, then yes. But for everything else when facing an adversary, pure intelligence is only part of the equation to winning, of which alone is not enough.
Being dynamically adaptable will be beat strictly intelligent 9 out of 10 times. If an adversary is highly intelligent and just as adaptable for the situation at hand, then they’re almost unbeatable.
However, when an adversary knows or thinks they’re more intelligent than the person they’re facing, they have no reason to adapt, which makes their perceived higher intellect a potential disadvantage.
Analyzation and Realization
First you have to figure out if your adversary is smarter than you. And if it seems they are, you have to admit to that realization or realize the possibility that your opponent is more intelligent than you are.
And that’s OK, that doesn’t mean they’re better.
Most people are intimidated and therefore automatically think they are inferior to a person smarter than them when in the same group or standing as them. This error in logic will make you the loser of a battle before it even begins.
When you know an enemy combatant or competitor is smarter than you, that’s advantageous to know. As it’s vital intel that you can use to strategize. You can’t do anything about their higher intellect, but now you know to adapt and engage on a different level.
If you didn’t know your adversary was smarter than you, you can underestimate them and attack / defend in futility because you didn’t plan accordingly.
Underestimating your opponent is a grave tactical mistake, whereas getting your adversary to underestimate you could be a powerful advantage.
Strategies and Tactics
A key to success is understanding your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what you’re good at and what needs improvement will help you create strategies that give you an edge over your adversary.
If at all possible, you must take the time to learn about your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses so that you can use them against them. This knowledge will give you insight into how they think and how they might react in certain situations.
Once you understand your own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your adversary, it’s time to start thinking strategically about how best to win the battle. Take a systematic approach when formulating a plan; consider multiple options before settling on one course of action.
A successful strategy will involve leveraging all available resources – from people to technology – to give you an advantage over your adversary. This won’t make you smarter than your opponent but it can lead to actionable intel to make smarter decisions.
Creativity is also essential; coming up with unique solutions will often be the difference between winning and losing a battle against someone smarter than yourself. Try to come up with unconventional or creative solutions to the problem, including “dumb” ideas that a genius would never come up with. Being creative may mean taking risks – but if done correctly, these risks could lead to great rewards.
It can be easy to get flustered or overwhelmed when trying to outmaneuver someone who’s smarter than you, but it’s vital to stay calm and focused.
The Tradecraft Trick
To further utilize tradecraft methodology, deception and misdirection are uniquely effective in outmaneuvering people and groups that are not just more intelligent, but more powerful and equipped.
The covert art of deception can be applied to any situation, and is particularly helpful when someone who’s smarter than you needs to be outmaneuvered. To maximize effectiveness, covert operatives use the element of surprise instead of brute force.
By skillfully obscuring information, misdirecting a more intelligent adversary or fabricating something entirely, tradecraft could give you the upper hand.