Technique and Substance

A reader writes:
I am searching for anything about so called 'Columbo' technique. Do You know what that is?...Maybe you can help me find something about 'manipulating other people'?
This question illustrates the problem that most people have advancing their position. They know what they want, but they think the key to getting it is simply "manipulating people." The "Columbo technique" of tricking people into answering your questions is more or less irrelevant what most people need but we are attracted to these ideas like birds are attracted to shiny objects. Sun Tzu focuses on the need for questions, but he taught that the mistakes that most people make in using questions are much more basic. 1) We don't think to question our assumptions. 2) We don't question a wide enough circle of people. 3) We don't know what to ask people about. Columbo, as a fictional character, didn't have any these problems because the plot dictated what he needed to discover and who he needed to ask to discover it. His script writers had all the key information that regular people lack. As people spend more and more time dwelling in the fiction world of entertainment, where solutions to problems are programmed in, they lose touch with real life problems, which require some depth of analysis and where there are no complete solutions, just steps in the right direction. The complexities of the dynamic competitive environment require a more advanced understanding of strategy and its uses.