Shiels' plan to soak up pressure and hit on the counter-attack was rewarded at the Global Energy Stadium as James Fowler's early goal proved enough to earn three points.
Shiels said: "People think Ross County had a lot of possession, but we got our goal and the tactics were to go deep and forfeit possession in their half of the pitch so it looked as if they were dominant.
"We knew we would have to defend a lot of corners so it was a great learning curve for the kids but we coped okay.
"We used different methodology to win the game today. We played Ross County at their own game and Cammy Bell had one save to make."
The win moved Killie into the top six with a game in hand over their rivals, but Shiels is taking nothing for granted.
"There's a long we to go," he added. "We finish with two homes games, but they are very difficult ones. There are no easy games in this league.
"Forty-seven points is our target, but we've got to win our next game, that's our game in hand. If we can get something from that it puts us in a decent position."