Strategic thinking trumps tactical thinking whenever there is a conflict. Strategic thinking can recognize when the other side is relying on tactical thinking. The patterns are obvious to strategic thinking while tactical thinking is totally unaware of how it's thinking. Tactical thinking only know what's it's thinking, not which kind of thinking or what's missing in its thinking.
Here's some of what's obvious to strategic thinking about the patterns of tactical thinking which can be exploited easily:
- Tactical thinking can only try harder, not try smarter. It will pursue the conflict with dogged determination at all cost.
- Tactical thinking can only function like a shark, not a dolphin. It pursues direct approaches and frontal attacks with the subtlety of a bulldozer.
- Tactical thinking must handle danger categorically, not complexly. Danger can only mean one thing as if it's a either/or, black & white issue.
- Tactical thinking clings to losing battles, not giving in or giving up. It cannot let go when it's the wisest choice.
- Tactical thinking is limited to fight, flight or freeze when confronted by a threat. It cannot become clever enough to mess with others' minds, perceptions and intentions.
- Tactical thinking gets locked in a loop, not finding a way out. It experiences problems as chronic, relentless and infuriating.
- Tactical thinking can only pursue more tactical thinking, not switch to strategic thinking. It must react to others' reactions which pours more gasoline on the fire.
From these patterns, you may be able to perceive how easy it is to set up others' tactical thinking to be their own worst enemy. Anyone deploying tactical thinking in a conflict is cruising for a bruising. Tactical thinkers can be baited to deplete all their resources by pursuing an endless conflict. They can be convinced to never back down or appear weak in spite of the enormous strategic advantages offered by less rivalry. Tactical thinking takes pride in determination in spite of sabotaging it's own surviving and thriving in the future. Fortunately, we can cultivate our strategic thinking to avoid these traps.