Knowing about your rival is critical. Use spies to gather valuable information that will keep you a step ahead. Better still: Play the spy yourself. In polite social encounters, learn to probe. Ask indirect questions to get people to reveal their weaknesses and intentions. There is no occasion that is not an opportunity for artful spying.
1. Pose as a friend while secretly gathering information.
People will think that you genuinely like them and mistake your interest as friendship.
2. Speak when only necessary.
Learn to possess the ability to suppress your thoughts in the conversation,
3. Learn to make others talk endlessly about themselves.
They will inadvertently reveal their intentions and plans.
4. Organize social gathering with people whom you are interested in knowing.
This is when most people’s guards are down.
5. Stir up people’s emotions by contradicting them.
In their emotional state they will reveal all kinds of truths about themselves, truths you can later use against them.
6. Give them a false confession.
By pretending to bare your heart to another person, you make them more likely to reveal their own secrets. This can also be a test to see if you can trust the person with your secret and reveal their true character, loyalty and honesty. This kind of knowledge is often the most valuable to predict future actions. Information is critical to power, but just as you spy on other people, you must be prepared for them to spy on you. One of the most potent weapons in the battle for information, then, is giving out false information. By feeding people wrong information, then, you gain a potent advantage. While spying gives you a third eye, disinformation puts out one of your enemy's eyes.
The Risks of Spying
• You have little control over the people who are doing the work. Perhaps they will ineptly expose your spying. They may secretly turn against you.
• People may begin to suspect you are worming secrets out of them under the guise of conversation. Emphasize friendly chatter, not valuable information.
• Your search for gems of information cannot be too obvious. Your probing questions will reveal more about yourself and your intentions than about the information you hope to find about them.